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THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 




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I THE 

'colonial clippers 



BY 



BASIL LUBBOCK 

Author of "The China Clippers"; "Round the Horn Before 

the Mast" : "Jack Derringer, a tale of Deep Water" ; 

and "Deep Sea Warriors" 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND PLANS 




SECOND EDITION 



GLASGOW 

JAMES BROWN & SON (Glasgow) Ltd, Publishers 

52 TO 58 Darnley Street 

1921 



i 1 : ■ s 



.?* ? 



Dedication 



Dedicated to all those who learnt the art of the sea so 
thoroughly and practised it so skilfully aboard the 
Colonial Clippers. 



M61880 



PREFACE 



In this book I have attempted to give some account of 
the beautiful sailing ships which played so great a part 
in the development of the great British Dominions 
under the Southern Cross. 

It is written specially for the officers and seamen of 
our Mercantile Marine, and I have endeavoured to avoid 
such a criticism as the following : — *' Heaps about other 
ships, but my old barkey was one of the fastest and 
best known of them all and he dismisses her with a 
line or two." 

I have made rather a point of giving passage records, 
as they are an everlasting theme of interest when sea- 
men get together and yarn about old ships. The 
memory is notoriously unreliable where sailing records 
are concerned, so I have been most careful to check 
these from logbooks and Captains' reports. Even 
Lloyd's I have found to be out by a day or two on 
occasions. 

A great deal of my material has been gathered bit by 

bit through the past 25 or 30 years. Alas ! many of 

the old timers, who so kindly lent me abstract logs and 

wrote me interesting letters, have now passed away. 

The illustrations, I hope, will be appreciated, for these, 

vii 



viii PREFACE 

whether they are old lithographs or more modern photo- 
graphs, are more and more difficult to unearth, and a 
time will soon come when they will be unprocurable. 

Indeed, if there is any value in this book it is because 
it records and illustrates a period in our sea history, 
the memory of which is already fast fading into the 
misty realms of the past. To preserve this memory, 
before it becomes impossible, is one of the main objects, 
if not the main object, of my work. 



Note. — As in my China Clippers, when using the word "mile" I 
always mean the sea mile of 6080 feet, not the land mile of 5280 feet. 



CONTENTS 



PART I.— THE EMIGRANT SHIPS 

The Power of Gold - - - . - 

Steerage Conditions in 1844 - . - - 

Discovery of Gold in Australia - - - - 

Melbourne and its Shipping in 1851-2 - ' 

First Gold Cargoes Home . . > . 

Great Rush to the Gold Regions in 1852 

Maury's Improvements on Old Route to the Colonies 

Early Fast Passages Outward - - - . 

Rules and Customs aboard the Eagle in 1S53 - 

Liverpool Shipowners in the Australian Trade 

James Baines, of the Black Ball Line - - - 

The Marco Polo ------ 

Captain James Nicol Forbes - - - . 

Marco Polo's First Voyage to Australia 

Marco Polo's Second Voyage to Australia 

After Life of Marco Polo - . - - 

Most Notable Clippers of 1853 

Ben Nevis ------- 

The Star of the East . - - . - 

The Miles Barton ------ 

The Guiding Star ------ 

The Indian Queen . - - - - 

The Famous Sovereign of the Seas . . - 

Best Outward Passages for 1853-4, Anchorage to Anchorage 

1854~The Year of the Big Ships 

Extraordinary 24-hour Runs - - - - 

The Lightning ------ 

The Red Jacket ------ 

Race across the Atlantic between Lightning and Red Jacket 
Red Jacket's First Voyage to Australia 
The Lightning's First Voyage to Australia 
Champion of the Seas - - - - - 

The James Baines . . . . - 

Record Voyage of James Baines to Australia - 
The Donald Mackay - - - . • 

ix 



1 

3 
6 
6 
10 
11 
13 
14 
16 
22 
23 
26 
29 
32 
36 
40 
41 

• 42 

■ 42 

- 43 

■ 44 

■ 44 

- 48 

■ 52 

■ 62 
. 67 

60 
62 

• 63 

■ 66 
. 71 

73 

• 77 
81 

. 83 



/ 



X CONTENTS 

PAGB 

Blue Jacket. White Star, and Shalimar - - - - 85 

The Wreck of the Schomberg - - - - - 87 

Best Outward Passages — Liverpool to Melbourne, 1854-5 - 90 

1855-1857 — Captain Anthony Enright and the Lightning - 91 

Best Homeward Passages, 1855-6 - - - - 103 

Best Outward Passages, 1865-6, Liverpool to Melbourne - 104 

James Baines Overdue - - - - - - - 105 

James Baines, Champion of the Seas, and Lightning race out to 

India with Troops in the Time of the Mutiny 
Burning of the James Baines ----- 

America Sells her Clippers to Great Britain - 

Notes on the Later American-built Passenger Ships - 

Black Bailers in the Queensland Emigrant Trade 

Sunda and Empress of the Seas Carry Sheep to New Zealand 

After Life and End of the Liverpool Emigrant Clippers 

The Burning of the Lightning - - - - - 

Blue Jacket's Figure-head - . . _ . 

The Loss of the Fiery Star . . . . . 

Some Famous Coal Hulks . - - - . 

Loss of the Young Australia ----- 

The Fate of Marco Polo -.---- 

PART II.— THE WOOL CLIPPERS 

The Carriers of the Golden Fleece - - - - - 1 22 

The Aberdeen White Star Line - - - - - - 129 

Wood and Composite Ships of the Aberdeen White Star Fleet - 131 
The Phoenician - - - - - - - 132 

The Lucky Nineveh - - - - - - 134 

The Jerusalem - - - - - - - 134 

Captain Mark Breach's First Encounter with his Owner - - 136 

The Thermopylae - - - - - - - -137 

The Centurion - - - - - - - - 137 

The Aviemore ........ 137 

The Fate of the Early White Star Clippers - - - - 138 

Duthie's Ships - - - - - - - - 140 

Passages of Aberdeen Ships to Sydney, 1872-3 - - - 142 

The South AustraUan Trade - - - - - - 143 

The Orient Line - - - - - - - 146 

The Orient and Her Best Outward Passages - - - 1 48 

Orient nearly Destroyed by Fire - - - - - 149 

Orient Delivers her Carpenter's Chest to the Lammermuir in Mid- 
Ocean .--_.-_. 151 

The Little Heather Bell 152 

The Murray - - - - - • - - 153 

The Orient Composite Clippers - - • - • - 164 



CONTENTS xi 

rAOB 

Yatala - - - - - - - - 165 

The Beltana, and Captain Richard Angel - - - - 166 

The Wonderful Torrens - - - - - - 167 

Torrens' Outward Passages -..--. 161 
The Great Sobraon - - - - - - -163 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore - - - - - - - 176 

City of Adelaide a.nd South Australian - - - - - 178 

The Speedy Little St. Vincent 179 

Pekina and Hawesbury - - - - - - -180 

Mr. T. B. Walker - - - - - - - - 180 

Walker's Clipper Barques - - - - - -181 

The Beautiful Little Berean - - - - - - 183 

Captain John Wyrill - - - - - - -186 

The Berean' s Races - - - - - - -187 

Berean as an Ice Carrier - .-..-- 190 

Loss of the Corinth ------- 191 

The Little Ethel - - 192 

The Hobart Barque Harriet McGregor ----- 192 
The Fremantle Barques Charlotte Padbury and Helena Mena - 193 

PART IIL— THE IRON CLIPPERS 

Introduction of Iron in Shipbuilding ----- 195 

The Ironsides, First Iron Sailing Ship - - - - 200 

The Martaban ........ 200 

The Builders of the Iron Wool Clippers - - - - 202 

The Darling Downs - - - - - - 204 

City of Agra a,nd Sam Mendel ------ 204 

Dharwar - - ...... 205 

Strange Career of the /4n/io/?e ------ 206 

Theophane --------- 208 

Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn, and the Loch Line of Glasgow - - 208 

Clan Ranald, Ben Nevis and Loch Awe - - • - 209 

Patriarch — First Iron Ship of Aberdeen White Star Line - - 212 

Thomas Stephens - - - - - - 214 

First Six Ships of the Loch Line - - - - - 219 

King's Island — A Death Trap for Ships . - - - 224 

Miltiades ........ 225 

Carmichael's Superb Wool Clipper Mermerus • • - - 227 

Devitt & Moore's Collingwood ------ 230 

Hesperus and Aurora — The First Iron Ships of the Orient Line - 231 
Brassey Cadet Training Scheme . . - . _ 232 

Ben Cruachan and Ben Voirlich . . - . 236 

Samuel Plimsoll ----..-- 240 

Loch Maree — The Fastest of the Lochs - - - . 246 
Tragedy of the Loch Ard 247 



xii CONTENTS 

Dcvitt & Moore's Crack Passenger Ship Rodney - - - 251 

Nichol's Romanoff ------- 264 

Duthie's Cairnbulg ------ 264 

The Speedy Thessalus 265 

Passages to Australia in 1874 - - - - • - 267 

Loch Garry -------- 259 

Loch Vennachar ------ - - 262 

Salamis — An Iron Thermopylae ---.-- 265 
The Colonial Barque WooUahra -..--- 270 
Cassiope and Parthenope ------- 270 

Trafalgar - - - - - - - - 270 

Passages to Australia in 1876 - - - - - - 271 

Sir Walter Raleigh 273 

Loch Fyne and Loch Long ----.. 274 

Aristides—ThG Aberdeen White Star Flagship - - - 274 

Smyrna ........ 275 

Harbinger -------- 276 

Argonaut -------- 280 

Passages to Australia in 1876 ------ 282 

Brilliant and Pericles ------- 282 

Loch Ryan ........ 284 

Loch Etive, of Captain WilUam Stuart and Joseph Conrad fame - 284 

The Wreck of Loch Sloy - 286 

The Loss of Lochs Shiel and Sunari ----- 287 

Passages to Australia in 187 7- - - - - - 287 

Passages to Australia in 1878 ------ 295 

Sophocles - - - - - - - - 296 

Passages to Australia in 1879 ------ 296 

Passages to Australia in 1880 . . . - . 297 

Passages under 80 days to Sydney in 1881 - - - - 300 

Passages to Australia in 1881 - - - - - 301 

The Big Illawarra - - - - - - - 301 

Orontes - - - - - - - - 302 

Loch Torridon ........ 302 

Loch Torridon' s Voyages, 1892-1908 316 

Port Jackson ........ 323 

Passages to Austraha in 1882 and 1883 - - - - 324 

Derwent - - - - - - - - - 326 

Passages to Australia in 1884 ------ 328 

Torridon and Yallaroi ....... 328 

Loch Carron and Loch Broom ------ 329 

Passages to Australia in 1886 ------ 334 

Mount Stewart and Cromdale — The Last of the Wool Clippers - 336 

Perforated Sails - - - - - - - - 337 

Hine's Clipper Barques • - • • - - 339 



CONTENTS 



xiil 



Iron Barques of Walker and Tnnder, Anderson 
The Loss of Lanoma . . . . 

Occasional Visitors in Australian Waters 



VAM 

- 841 

- 342 

- 344 



PART IV.— THE NEW ZEALAND TRADE 

The Mayflowers of New Zealand 

Edwin Fox - - - - 

Wild Duck .... 

Shaw, Savill & Co. 

Crusader . - - . 

Helen Denny and Margaret Galbraith - 

End of Some of Shaw, Savill 's Earlier Ships 

The Loss of the Cospatrick 

The Loss of the A valanche 

Patrick Henderson's Albion Shipping Company 

Wild Deer ... - 

Peter Denny 

Albion Shipping Company, 1869 Ships 

Christian McCausland Loses her Wheel ^ 

Origin of the Albion House-flag 

New Zealand Shipping Company 

Otaki's Record Passage Home - 

Turakina, eyi-City of Perth 

Robert Duncan's Six Beautiful Sister Ships 

Wellington and Captain Cowan - 

Wellington Collides with an Iceberg 

Oamaru and Timaru 

Marlborough, Hermione and Pleiont 

Taranaki, Lyttelton and Westland 

Lutterworth and Lady Jocelyn - 

Outsiders in the New Zealand Trade 

The Pretty Little Ben Venue 

Hinemoa 



- 346 

- 347 

- 847 

- 348 

• 349 

• 349 

- 350 

- 851 

- 854 

- 354 

- 366 

- 862 

- 862 

- 363 

- 365 

- 365 

- 369 

- 370 

- 378 

- 380 

- 382 

- 383 

- 384 

- 384 

- 385 

- 386 

- 387 

- 387 



APPENDIX. 

Appendix A — Extracts from Lightning Gazette, 1855-1857 

B — Later American-built Passenger Ships to Australia 
C — Iron Wool Clippers - - . . . 

D — Log of Ship Theophane, 1868 — Maiden Passage 
,, E — List of Clipper Ships Still Afloat and Trading at the 
Outbreak of War, August, 1914 
F— The Wool Fleet. 1876-1890 - . - - 



391 
410 
411 
414 

416 
417 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Emigrant Fleet in Hobson's Bay 


Frontispiece 


Mr. James Baines . . _ . . 


To face page 23 


Marco Polo ...... 


27 


Plate of House-Flags .... 


32 


Sovereign of the Seas ----- 


48 


Lightning ...... 


60 


Red Jacket ...... 


63 


James Batnes . . . ... 


77 


Donald Mackay entering Port Phillip Heads - 


83 


White Star ...... 


85 


Blue Jacket ...... 


: 114 


Royal Dane ...... 


114 


Lightning on Fire at Geelong ... - 


117 


Light Brigade ...... 


' 120 


Young Australta ■ . . . . . 


120 


Plate of House-Flags ----- 


120 


Orient, arriving at Gibraltar with Troops from the 




Crimea ------ 


148 


Pekina and Coonatto at Port Adelaide, 1867 - 


164 


John Duthte at Circular Quay. Sydney 


154 


Torrens ■ , . . . . 


167 


Torrens at Port Adelaide . . . . 


157 


Sobraon . - ^ - - - - 


163 


City of Adelaide, David Bruce Commander, - 


178 


South Australian - . - - - - 


178 


Captain John Wyrill. of Berean 


183 


Berean ------- 


183 


Mr. Thomas Carmichael, ot A, & J . Carmichael 


200 


Darling Downs ■ - - - - 


204 


Antiope ------- 


204 


Antiope - ■ - - - - - 


206 


Theophane - ■ - - - 


208 


Dharwar ------- 


208 


Patriach ------- 


212 


xiv 





ILLUSTRATIONS xv 

Thomas Stephens ------ To face page 214 

Mermerus alongside - - - - - ,, 225 

Miltiades 225 

Hesperus - - - - - - - ,, • 230 

Collivgwood - ' - - - - ., 239 

Samuel Plimsoll ., 239 

Rodney .-..--- ., 250 

Loch Garry - - - '^ - - - „ 250 

Thessalus - - - - - - ., 254 

Loch Vennachar - - - - - - ,, 262 

Salamis - - - - - - - ,, 266 

Thomas Stephens, Cairnbulg, Brilliant and CiUty Sark, 

in Sydney Harbour ----- ,, 266 

Woollahra ., 270 

Aristides ., 274 

Harbinger ...... ,, 276 

Argonaut ------- ,, 280 

Pericles - - - - - - - ,. 282 

ikferwgf MS in Victoria Dock. Melbourne, 1896 - - ,, 284 

BrilHant - ■ - - - * - - ., 284 

Loch Etive 286 

-<4f^owaw/ in the Clyde - - - - - .. 286 

Cimba 290 

Sophocles ------- .. 296 

Illawarra ------- ., 301 

Captain Pattman - - - - - „ 301 

Loch Torridon, with perforated Sails - - - ,, 308 

Loch Torridon ------ ,, 318 

Port Jackson ..---- ^^ 323 

Port Jackson in the Thames - - - - ,, 323 

Derwent, off Gravescnd - - - - ,, 327 

Mount Stewart ...... ,, 327 

Torrtdon ,, 328 

Mount Stewart ...... „ 335 

Cromdale - - - - - - - ., 335 

Brier holme - - - - - - ., 340 

Crusader - - - - - - - .■ 352 

Cospatrick ...... ,, 352 

Wild Deer „ 355 

Christian McCausland - - - - - ,, 364 

Piako ------- ,. 364 

Turakina, ex-City of Perth - - - - ., 370 

Otakt Becalmed ------ „ 373 

Akaroa ------- ,, 377 

Invercargill, off Tairoa Heads - - - - „ 377 



xv! ILLUSTRATIONS 

Timaru .--.--. To face page 382 

Wellington, at Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound - ,, 382 

Westland ., 384 

Taranaki - - - - - - - „ 384 

Ben Venue ---.-. ,, 386 

Lady Jocelyn .----- ,, 386 

PLANS. 

Champion of the Seas ----- „ 73 

Lightning ...... ,, 73 

Sail Plan of Ben Cruachan and Ben Voirlich - - „ 234 

Sail Plan of Loch Moidart and Loch Torridon - „ 304 



p 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS. 

PART I. 
THE EMIGRANT SHIPS. 

Those splendid ships, each with her grace, her glory. 

Her memory of old song or comrade's story, 

Still in my mind the image of life's need. 

Beauty in hardest action, beauty indeed. 

" They built great ships and sailed them " sounds most brave, 

Whatever arts we have or fail to have ; 

I touch my country's mind, I come to grips 

With half her purpose thinking of these ships. 

That art untouched by softness, all that line 
Drawn ringing hard to stand the test of brine | 
That nobleness and grandeur, all that beauty 
Born of a manly life and bitter duty ; 
That splendour of fine bows which yet could stand 
The shock of rollers never checked by land. 
That art of masts, sail-crowded, fit to break. 
Yet stayed to strength, and back-stayed into rake. 
The life demanded by that art, the keen 
Eye-puckered, hard-case seamen, silent, lean. 
They are grander things than all the art of towns, 
Their tests are tempests, and the sea that drowns. 
They are my country's line, her great art done 
By strong brains labouring on the thought unwon, 
They mark our passage as a race of men 
Earth will not see such ships as those again. 

— John Masefield. 

The Power of Gold. 

FROM time immemorial the progress of the world, 
in colonization, in the Sciences (shipbuilding 
especially), and in the Arts owes its advance to the 
adventurous spirit of the pioneer. Particularly is this 
the case in the opening up of new countries and in 
the improvements in ship transport to those countries. 

1 



\ 



2 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Kipling, has sung the song of the pioneer and has 
laid stress on the pioneer spirit, but he has not touched 
on that great magnet which has ever drawn the pioneer 
on and dragged civilisation in his wake — the magnet 
of gold. Gold and its glamour has been the cause, 
one can almost say, of all the tragedy and all the 
evil in this world, but also of nearly all its good and 
all its progress. 

It was the discovery of gold which opened up the 
fair States of Western America and brought about 
the building of the wonderful American clipper. 
In the same way the great Dominions of Australia 
and New Zealand owe their present state of progress 
and prosperity to that shining yellow metal; and 
without its driving power there would have been no 
history of the great Liverpool emigrant ships to record. 

Emigrant Ships to Australia in the Forties. 

Before the discovery of gold in Australia, 
the trade of that Colony was at a low ebb, suffering 
from want of enterprise and financial depression; 
whilst the emigrant ships running from Liverpool 
and other British ports, owing to the want of healthy 
competition, were of a very poor description. The 
horrors of the long five -months passage for the miser- 
able landsmen cooped -up in low, ill- ventilated and 
over-crowded 'tween decks, were fit to be compared 
with those of the convict ship. The few vessels 
with humane owners and kindly captains were in a class 
by themselves. These, indeed, thought of the health 
and comfort of the wretched emigrants and did not 
content themselves with merely keeping within the 
letter of the Government regulations, which might 
more fitly have been framed for traffic in Hell. 



BEFORE THE GOLD DISCOVERY 8 

For first class passengers the splendid Blackwall 
frigates of Green, Money Wigram and Duncan Dunbar, 
and the beautiful little clippers of the Aberdeen 
White Star Line, provided excellent accommodation 
and a comfortable and safe, if not a particularly 
fast, passage. But the ordinary steerage passenger 
had to content himself as a rule with a ship that was 
little better than a hermetically sealed box; one as 
deep as it was long, with clumsy square bows and 
stern, with ill-cut ill-set sails — its standing rigging 
of hemp a mass of long splices ; and with a promenade 
deck no longer than the traditional two steps and 
overboard . 

These Colonial wagons were navigated by rum- 
soaked, illiterate, bear-like officers, who could not 
work out the ordinary meridian observation with 
any degree of accuracy, and either trusted to dead 
reckoning or a blackboard held up by a passing ship 
for their longitude; whilst they were worked by the 
typically slow-footed, ever-grousing Merchant Jack 
of the past two centuries. 

Report on Steerage Conditions in 1844. 

Nearly everyone has read of the horror of the 
convict ships, but the following report of steerage 
conditions in 1844 plainly shows that in many respects 
the emigrant's lot was every bit as hard and revolting: 
" It was scarcely possible to induce the passengers 
to sweep the decks after their meals or to be decent 
in respect to the common wants of nature ; in many 
cases, in bad weather, they would not go on deck, 
their health suffered so much that their strength 
was gone, and they had not the power to help them- 
selves . Hence the between decks were like a loathsome 



4 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

dungeon . When hatchways were opened , under which 
the people were stowed, th^ steam rose and the stench 
was like that from a pen of pigs. The few beds they 
had were in a dreadful state, for the straw, once 
wet with sea water, soon rotted, besides which they 
used the between decks for all sorts of filthy purposes. 
Whenever vessels put back from distress, all these 
miseries and sufferings were exhibited in the most 
aggravated form. In one case it appeared that, 
the vessel having experienced rough weather, the 
people were unable to go on deck and cook their pro- 
visions : the strongest maintained the upper hand over 
the weakest , and it was even said that there were women 
who died of starvation. At that time the passengers 
were expected to cook for themselves and from their 
being unable to do this the greatest suffering arose. 
It was naturally at the commencement of the voyage 
that this system produced its worst effects, for the 
first days were those in which the people suffered 
most from sea -sickness and under the prostration 
of body thereby induced were wholly incapacitated 
from cooking. Thus though provisions might be 
abundant enough, the passengers would be half- 
starved . ' ' 

This terrible report was given before a Parliamentary 
Committee. 



A Shipping Notice of 1845. 

It does not even mention the overcrowding 
which took place, owing to the smallness of the ships, 
which can well be realised by the following shipping 
notice taken from a Liverpool newspaper of January, 
1845. 



DISCOVERY OF GOLD 5 

NEW SOUTH WALES. 
Will be despatched immediately : — 

For Port Phillip and Sydney, New South Wales. 
The splendid first-class English-built ship 

" ROSSENDALE," 
Edward Davids Goulding, Commander, 
A I at Lloyd's, 296 tons per register, coppered and copper fastened, 
and well known as a remarkably fast sailer. This vessel has spacious 
and elegant accommodation for passengers, replete with every con- 
venience and presents a first rate opportunity. 
For terms of freight and passage apply to 

Messrs. Fairfield, Shallcross & Co. 

The Discovery of Gold in Australia. 

However, on the discovery of gold in 1851, 
the Colonial trade leapt out of its stagnation and 
squalor and at one bound became one of the most 
important in all the world's Mercantile Marine. And 
when the gold fever drew a stream of ignorant English , 
Scotch and Irish peasants to Australia, men, women 
and children, most of whom had never seen a ship 
before they embarked and who were as helpless and 
shiftless as babes aboard, it was seen that something 
must be done to improve the conditions on the emigrant 
ships. Government regulations were made more 
strict and inspectors appointed; but the time had 
passed when they were needed — competition now 
automatically improved the emigrant ships from 
stern to stem. 

The discovery of alluvial gold in Australia was 
mainly brought about by the great Californian strike 
of 1849. That strike upset the theories of geologists 
and set every man on the world's frontiers searching 
for the elusive metal. The first authentic discovery 
in the Colonies was made near Clunes, in March, 1850, 
but it was not until September, 1851, that gold began 



6 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

to be found iu such astounding quantities that large 
fortunes were rocked out in a few weeks . 

The first licenses for diggers were issued in 
September, 1851 ; and the effect on the ports of 
Melbourne and Gee long was immediate — wages began to 
rise to fabulous heights, as did the common necessaries 
of life, even to wood and water. Shearers, harvesters 
and bushmen were soon almost unobtainable, and 
the very squatters themselves left their herds and 
flocks and rushed to the goldfields. The police and 
custom-house officials followed them, and in their 
turn were followed by the professional men of the 
towns — the doctors, lawyers and even clergymen. 
And as has ever been the case, sailors, running from 
their ships , were ever in the forefront of the stampede . 

By the end of September there were 567 men at 
Ballarat; they, by means of the primitive Australian 
gold rocker, had rocked out 4010 ounces or £12,030 
worth of gold , taking it at its then commercial value 
of £3 per ounce. There were only 143 rockers, yet 
this amount had been won in 712 days' work, re- 
presenting a day and a quarter's work per man. 
At the beginning of November it was estimated that 
there were 67,000 ounces of gold in banks and private 
hands at MeJbourne and Geelong. From this date 
new fields, to which wild stampedes took place, were 
discovered almost daily. Forrest Creek, Bendigo, 
Ararat, Dunolly and the Ovens all showed colour 
in turn. 

Melbourne and its Shipping 1851-2. 

It was some months before the news of the 
great Australian gold strike spread round the world, 
and one can well imagine the excitement on board the 



HOBSON'S BAY IN 1852 7 

incoming emigrant ships, when they were boarded 
almost before their anchors were down and told the 
great news. Often successful miners would come 
off and prove their words by scattering gold on the 
deck, to be scrambled for, or by removing their hats 
and displaying rolls of bank notes inside them. 
Settlers, bereft of their servants, sometimes even 
came off with the pilot in their anxiety to engage men. 
Indeed it was commonly reported in the winter of 
1851 that the Governor was compelled to groom his 
own horse. 

With such stories flying about, and every native 
apparently in a state of semi -hysteria, it is not sur- 
prising that often whole ships' crews, from the captain 
down, caught the gold fever and left their vessels 
deserted. Not even the lordly Blackwall liners 
with their almost naval discipline could keep their 
crews. The six-shooter and belaying pin were used 
in vain. Shipmasters were at their wits* end where 
to get crews for the homeward run. £40 and even 
£50 was not found to be sufficient inducement to 
tempt sailors away from this marvellous land of gold . 
Even the gaol was scoured and prisoners paid £30 
on the capstan and £3 a month for the passage . 

By June, 1852, fifty ships were lying in Hobson's 
Bay deserted by the crews . Nor were other Australian 
ports much better. The mail steamer Australian 
had to be helped away from Sydney by a detachment 
of volunteers from H .M . brig Faniome ; and at 
Melbourne and Adelaide, where she called for mails, 
police had to be stationed at her gangways to prevent 
desertion, whilst at Albany she was delayed seven 
days for want of coal , because the crew of the receiving 
ship, who were to put the coal aboard, were all 



8 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

in prison to keep them from running off to the 
diggings. 

Some description of Melbourne at this wonderful 
period of its history may perhaps be of interest. 

From the anchorage, St. Kilda showed through 
the telescope as a small cluster of cottages, whilst 
across the bay a few match -boarding huts on the 
beach stood opposite some wooden jetties. Williamsr 
town, indeed, possessed some stone buildings and a 
stone pierhead, but in order to get ashore the un- 
happy emigrant had to hire a boat. Then when 
he at last succeeded in getting his baggage on the 
quay, he had to guard it himself, or it would myster- 
iously disappear. Rather than do this, many a 
newly arrived emigrant put his outfit up to auction — 
acting as his own auctioneer on the pierhead itself. 
And as an outfit purchased in England for the Colonies 
is usually more remarkable for its weight than its 
suitability, those who did this generally profited by 
their astuteness. Melbourne itself could either be 
reached by a river steamboat up the Yarra Yarra, 
which at that time was not more than 25 feet wide 
in places ; or by ferry boat across the bay and a two- 
mile walk from the beach by a rough trail through 
sand, scrub and marsh. When emigrants began to 
arrive in such numbers as to overflow Melbourne, 
the beach became covered with tents and shacks and 
was known as '* canvas town." 

There were only 23,000 inhabitants in Melbourne 
at the time of the gold discovery. Its houses were 
mostly of wood and but one story high. With the 
exception of Collins, Bourke and Elizabeth Streets, 
which were paved, the streets were merely narrow 
muddy lanes, and there were no foot pavements. 



» 



k 



LUCKY DIGGERS 9 

In the wet weather these lanes became torrents of 
water and many a carter reaped a harvest taking 
people across the road at sixpence a time. 

Lucky diggers, down on the spree, easily distin- 
guishable by their plaid or chequered jumpers, cabbage 
tree hats, moleskin trousers, and bearded, swarthy 
faces were to be seen everywhere. Many of them 
spent their time driving about in gaily decorated 
carriages accompanied by flashily dressed women 
covered with cheap jewellery. Amongst these char- 
ioteers, the uproarious British tar could always 
be picked out. He disliked driving at a slower pace 
than a gallop, and as often as not, instead of handling 
the ribbons, he would insist on riding postillion — 
and he was also unhappy unless his craft flew a huge 
Union Jack. 

As usual with gold so easily come by, the lucky 
digger made every effort to get rid of his dust. Just 
as the buccaneer in the days of the Spanish Main, 
when back from a successful cruise, would pour his 
arrack and rum into the streets of Port Royal and invite 
all and sundry to drink at his expense, so in Melbourne 
the Australian digger stood champagne to every 
passer-by. It was being done across the Pacific in 
California. It was done on the Rand. It was done 
in the Klondyke. And some day it will be done 
again . 

The shops, as usual, made more money than the 
diggers; and tradesmen, made casual by prosperity, 
adopted the ' ' take it or leave it ' ' tone and gave no 
change below a sixpence. The police were a nonde- 
script force, mostly recruited from the emigrant 
ships, and the only emblem of their office was the 
regulation helmet. Indeed, dressed as they were, 



10 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

in the clothes in which they had arrived out, their 
appearance was not very uniform. However it was 
beyond the power of any force to preserve strict law 
and order at such a time, and the most that was 
expected of them was to keep the side walk and gutters 
clear of drunken miners and to pacify the pugnacious. 

The *' new chum " had hardly landed before he 
was regaled with hair-raising stories of bushrangers — 
apparently these gentry had an awkward habit of 
holding one up in the Black Forest on the way to 
the diggings. Thus firearms of every description 
were soon at a premium, many of them being more 
dangerous to the man who fired than to the man fired at. 

Before leaving Melbourne for the sea, I must not 
omit to mention a well-known character of those 
days, namely George Francis Train. He combined 
the businesses of packer to the diggings and agent 
to the White Star Line. He was a real Yankee with 
an unceasing flow of flowery talk; and, after amassing 
a fortune in Melbourne, he returned to his native 
State and became a candidate for the American Pre- 
sidency; and he informed everybody, that if he was 
elected, he intended reforming the world. Alas! they 
turned him down — he went broke and sank into 
obscurity. Appearances at the present day, however, 
seem to show that old Train managed to plant some 
of his seed in the White House. 

First Gold Cargoes Home. 

The first ship to land Australian gold in the 
British Isles was admitted by most people to be the 
smart little Aberdeen White Star liner Phoenician, 
commanded by Captain Sproat, a great passage 
maker. She arrived off Plymouth on 3rd February, 



I 



FIRST GOLD CARGOES 11 

1852, after a passage of 83 days from Sydney. This 
was considered a record for the run home. She 
brought 74 packages of gold dust, valued at £81,000. 

The first ship to arrive in Liverpool with a gold 
cargo was the Eagle Line packet, Albatross y Captain 
Gieves. She arrived on tSlst August, 1852, with 
£50,000 of gold dust; but, what was far more re- 
markable, was that she arrived with the same crew 
to a man with which she had left England. 

This was a very different experience to that of 
her sister ship, the Eagle, which left Port Phillip 
on the 2nd September, after waiting six months 
for a crew, and then paying between £50 and £60 
per man for the run home. Apparently though, 
the Eaglets expensive crew were worth their money, 
for she made the quickest passage ever known up to 
that date, arriving in the Downs on the 78th day 
out. She also had a record gold shipment of 150,000 
ounces . 

The Great Rush to the Gold Regions in 1852. 

With the arrival in England of larger and 
larger consignments of gold, there was such a rush 
to take shipping to the Antipodes that both the 
Emigration Commissioners and the shipowners found 
themselves unable to put sufficient tonnage on the 
berth to carry the clamouring hosts of adventurers. 
In London the magnificent frigate-built Blackwallers 
of Green, Money Wigram and Smith were diverted 
from the Indian trade in a vain attempt to stem 
the rush; whilst Liverpool shipowners began hiring or 
buying American Transatlantic packets and clippers, 
besides sending a shoal of orders across to the 
Boston and Nova Scotian shipbuilders. As fast 



12 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

as driving could make them, ships came crowding 
into Hobson's Bay, just as they were still doing 
in San Francisco Bay on the other side of the Pacific ; 
and it soon became no uncommon sight to see a dozen 
ships waiting inside the Heads for want of pilots to 
bring them up to the anchorage. 

In the year 1852 102,000 people arrived in the 
Colony of Victoria, and in the 18 months following 
the discovery of Ballarat the population of Melbourne 
sprang from 23,000 to 70,000, and that of Geelong 
from 8000 to 20,000. 

In the five years 1852-7, during which the rush to 
the diggings was at its height, 100,000 Englishmen, 
60,000 Irish, 50,000 Scots, 4000 Welsh, 8000 Germans, 
1500 French, 3000 Americans, and no less than 25,000 
Chinese — not to speak of the other nationalities of 
the world, all of whom were represented — landed 
on the shores of Port Phillip. 

The Need for Fast Ships. 

Though undoubtedly the chief reason of orders 
to builders across the Western Ocean was cheapness, 
yet at the same time it was recognised that no ships 
that sailed the seas could approach the sailing records 
made by the "Down East" clippers of Maine and 
Nova Scotia. And everyone was in a violent hurry 
to get to the new Eldorado, so naturally took passage 
on the ship which had the greatest reputation for 
speed. Thus the Australian gold boom filled the 
shipyards of America with orders for large passenger 
carrying clippers. Indeed the only British firm 
which could in any way compete with the builders 
of the Yankee soft-wood ships — that of Hall, of 
Aberdeen — had not yet built a ship of over 1000 tons. 



GREAT CIRCLE SAILING 18 

Maury's Improvements on the Old Route to 
the Colonies. 

In more ways than one we owed America 
thanks for shortening the passage to Australia — 
and not least to the sailing directions advocated by 
her great wind expert Maury. In the days before 
the gold discovery vessels followed the route laid 
down by the Admiralty; they kept as much to the 
eastward as possible on their way south in order to 
avoid the dreaded Cape San Roque and its leeward 
currents; they rounded the Cape of Good Hope close 
to, indeed often touched there, then kept well to the 
north of the forties running their easting down. 
Then a 120-day passage was ^considered very good 
going, and when Captain Godfrey, of the Constance 
and Statesman, went out in 77 days by sailing on a 
Great Circle track, his performance created a huge 
sensation in shipping circles. 

Maury did not actually advocate running the 
easting down on a Great Circle; but what he did was 
first to dispel the bugbear of Cape San Roque, which, 
however much it may have worried the leewardly 
craft of the old days, could have but little effect 
upon the fast weather ly ships of the fifties. He next 
showed the advantages of sailing on a Great Circle 
from San Roque so as to get into the high latitudes 
as soon as possible. He was dead against bracing 
sharp up against the S.E. trades. 

"Australian -bound vessels are advised,'* he writes, 
** after crossing the equator near the meridian of 30° W . , 
say between 25° and 32°, as the case may be, to run 
down through the S.E. trades, with topmast studding 
sails set, if they have sea room, aiming to cross 25° 



14 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

or 30° S., as the winds will allow, which will be 
generally somewhere about 28° or 30° W., and soon, 
shaping their course, after they get the winds steadily 
from the westward, more and more to the eastward, 
until they cross the meridian of 20° E., in about 
lat. 45°, reaching 55° S., if at all, in about 40° E. 
Thence the best course — if ice, etc., will allow — 
is onward still to the southward of east, not caring 
to get to the northward again of your greatest southern 
latitude, before reaching 90° E. The highest latitude 
should be reached between the meridians of 50° and 
80° E. The course then is north of east, gradually 
hauling up more and more to the north as you approach 
Van Dieman's Land. The highest degree of south 
latitude, which it may be prudent to touch, depending 
mainly on the season of the year and the winds, the 
state of the ship, and the well-being of the passengers 
and crew . ' ' 

This last sentence was a very important qualification 
of the Great Circle route, and it is evident that Maury 
quite realised that only very powerful, well found 
ships could adventure far into the fifties without 
being made to pay severely for their temerity. 

Early Fast Passages Outward. 

Constance, Captain Godfrey, left Plymouth, 17th July, 1850, arrived 

Port Adelaide, ist October, 1850 — 76 days. 
Runnymede, Captain Brown, left Liverpool, 2 ist February, 1852 ; 

arrived Port Adelaide, 4tli May, 1852 — 72 days. 
Ayina, Captain Downward, left Liverpool, 6th April, 1852 ; arrived 

Port Adelaide, 21st June, 1852 — 76 days. 

Constance was owned by James Beazley, Runny- 
mede was a ship hired by the Emigration Commis- 
sioners, and Anna was a Fox Line packet. They 
were all under 1000 tons. Other passages which I 



ABOARD THE EAGLE 15 

have been unable to verify were — Bride, 75 days to 
Adelaide; Raleigh, 81 days to Perth; Cambridge, 81 
days to Melbourne ; and Progress, 82 days to Melbourne. 
The keen competition set about by the gold find 
not only produced larger, faster ships, but much 
improved victualling and accommodation. 

Rules and Customs aboard the ** Eagle" in 1853. 

The improvement is well shown by this account 
of life aboard an Australian emigrant ship just 
nine years after that horrible 1844 report had been 
submitted . 

The Eagle is a first-class ship, 187 feet in length, 
has three decks, viz., a spar or upper deck, main 
deck and 'tween deck. On the spar deck are placed 
the small boats , entrance to the cabin and main deck . 
Cabin and saloon passengers have the exclusive right 
to the poop ; but, through the kindness of the captain, 
ladies from the 'tween decks are allowed to walk 
on it. On the main deck are situated the cabin and 
saloon, entrance to the 'tween decks, the galleys 
and the ropes to work the vessel with. The 'tween 
deck passengers have the right to walk on the spar 
deck from the poop to the bow. 

The captain generally appears on deck about 6 a.m. 
After breakfast he mingles with the passengers, ready 
to hear and redress grievances. 

At 10 a.m. Dr. Dunlevy attends at the hospital 
to give advice and medicine free of charge. 

The passengers are divided into four leading divisions 
viz.: — Cabin passengers, saloon or house on deck 
passengers, second cabin passengers, 'tween deck 
and intermediate or third class passengers, who are 
again sub-divided into enclosed and open berths. 



16 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The accommodation in the berths is first rate. 
In the cabin the berths are 8 feet 2 by 5 feet 6 for two 
persons. There are a few double berths for families. 

In the second cabin on deck, the sleeping berths 
are 6 feet by 4 feet 6 for two persons and there are a 
few double berths. The second cabin 'tween decks 
sleeping berths are divided into closed and open. 
The open berths are exclusively occupied by single 
men. The enclosed are occupied by families and 
single ladies. 

Young ladies' sleeping berths are in compartments 
of 4 or 6 beds and placed on one side of the ship — 
young men on the opposite side of the ship; families 
occupy berths on either side. 

The same system is followed in the enclosed and 
open intermediate with the exception that some of 
the compartments for single people contain 8 beds. 

After being at sea for two or three days, Mr. Nolein, 
the purser, came round and arranged the 'tween 
deck passengers into messes, giving to each mess a 
card with the names of the parties forming it and 
also its number. On the other side of the card is a 
printed list of the provisions for each adult per week. 

In the second cabin 'tween decks each mess consists 
of 24 adults ; in the enclosed intermediate 12 ; and 
in the open 10. 

The first cabin is provided with three stewards 
and a stewardess, who attend on the passengers ex- 
clusively ; and they are supplied with fresh provisions 
daily. 

The second cabin on deck has two stewards. In 
both cabins passengers have nothing to provide but 
bed, bedding and napery. 

In the second cabin 'tween decks each mess is pro* 



DUTIES OF MESSMEN 17 

vided with a steward. Passengers in this part of the 
ship only provide bed, bedding, napery and a small cask 
or tin bottle to hold their daily supply of fresh water. 

In the intermediate no attendance is provided. 

Messtnen. — Each mess elects two of its number 
to act as messmen for on« week. The messmen go 
to the purser to receive the provisions allowed it 
for the week. The day appointed on the Eagle for 
this purpose was Friday. They have also to go every 
day and receive the water; and divide it out to each 
individual if required. They have also to make 
puddings for the mess three times a week, as well 
as oatmeal cakes, loaf bread, etc. 

In the intermediate each mess has to provide bags 
or dishes wherein to keep the provisions for the week; 
and also a dish to bring their tea, coffee, beef, soup, 
etc., from the cook, as the company provide no 
utensils for this part of the ship. 

Water. — Fresh water is served out by the third 
mate to every messman once a day. Each adult is 
allowed three pints per day and the same allowance 
is given to the cook for the tea, coffee, soup, etc., for 
each pft'son on board. 

Hours. — The hour appointed for passengers going 
to bed is 10 p.m. When the bell strikes the purser 
comes round and sees that all lights are put out except 
those allowed Xo burn all night. Parties not going 
to bed at that hour must either go on deck or remain 
below in darkness, and they are not allowed to 
make any noise that would disturb those in bed. 

Each passenger is expected to turn out of bed at 
6 a.m. The doctor generally comes round in the 
morning to see that all are up, more especially in 
the hot weather. 



18 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Provisions. — Provisions are served out to each mess 
by the purser in rotation. He commences with the 
messes in the second cabin. He first serves out tea, 
coffee and sugar to mess No . 4 , and goes over the whole 
messes by rotation with the same articles. The 
flour, oatmeal and rice are then served out in the same 
order and so on with the other articles until he has 
given out all the provisions . He then serves the inter- 
mediate, following the same order as the second cabin. 

Cooking. — The ship has two galleys, two cooks 
and four assistants. The provisions used in the first 
cabin, house on deck and second cabin 'tween decks 
are cooked in the starboard galley ; and those used by 
the third cabin or intermediate passengers and crew in 
the larboard galley. They also cook anything extra 
as ham for breakfast. 

Loaves, oatmeal cakes, puddings, etc., must be 
taken up to the galley before a certain hour in the 
forenoon. Between meal times hot water is sometimes 
exchanged for cold water to old and delicate passengers . 

Breakfast, Dinner, Supper. — The hour for breakfast 
is 8 o'clock, dinner at 1 and tea at 6. As all the 
messes cannot dine at once, they take it week about 
in rotation: for example, if messes 1, 3 and 5 mess 
first this week, they will be last in the week following. 

The stewards in the cabins grind the coffee for their 
respective messes. The messmen in the intermediate 
grind their own coffee in the mill in the galley and 
carry water from the cook to infuse the coffee for their 
own mess. The stewards and intermediate messmen 
bring the dinners from the galley to their respective 
messes . 

Tea is brought in the same way as coffee. Coffee 
is generally used for breakfast and tea for supper. 



WASHING DAYS 19 

The floor of the intermediate saloon is scraped 
daily by the messes in rotation. 

Washing Days. — Two days are set apart in each 
week for washing clothes. If those washing have 
not saved up fresh or collected rain water, they must 
wash them in salt water. Whether fresh or salt, 
it is always cold and the clothes are dried by tying 
them in the rigging. 

Cleaning the Berths. — The stewards, besides scraping 
the floor, collect the slops of the mess every day. 

Ventilation. — As regards this most important point, 
the Eagle must be classed Al. 

The ventilation of the ship is on the same plan as 
that of the Cunard steamers. The first cabin saloon 
has two ventilators on deck, covered with glass panes 
at top and opening in the sides . The sleeping berths 
in the cabin are ventilated by windows in the sides 
and openings above each door. 

The second cabin on deck sleeping berths have the 
windows in the sides, which slide so as to admit 
plenty of fresh air and also openings above each door. 
The saloon into which the sleeping berths open is 
ventilated by a large skylight on deck. 

The second cabin 'tween decks has two ventilators, 
one on each side of the main deck. They are made of 
iron with openings all round, and are glazed on the 
top to prevent the water from coming down. The 
berths in the after part of it, right astern, are ventilated 
by windows in the stern and in the sides. 

In addition to all this, there are three hatchways, 
and a ventilator on the upper deck, glazed on the top; 
and four windows on each side of the main deck, which 
slide up to admit fresh air. A space is left at the 
top of each berth for the same purpose. 



20 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The vessel is lighted by these windows and also by 
dead lights in the deck during the day ; and at night 
by lanterns in each compartment and also by lanterns 
belonging to private individuals. The lights must be 
put out by 10 p.m., but one is allowed to burn all 
night in each division. 

Liquors. — Ale and porter are sold to the 'tween deck 
passengers from 10 to 12 a.m. Passengers must 
obtain an order from the captain to obtain wine or 
spirits. Provisions or groceries can be purchased 
at any hour of the day . 

Luggage. — Two small boxes, say 30 inches by 19 by 
16, are much better than a large one. The one marked 
'*not wanted on the voyage " is placed in the hold 
and brought to deck, if requisite, every three weeks. 

The other is for use on the voyage and is placed 
under the owners' sleeping berth. A carpet or canvas 
bag with pockets in the inside will be found a most 
useful article. 

Clothing. — Each passenger must have two suits of 
clothing: one for cold, the other for warm weather. 
Any old clothing, provided it is whole, is good enough 
for use on the voyage. Coarse blue cloth trousers 
or fustian ones, with a short coat or jacket and vest 
of the same material, stand the voyage well; and 
light trousers such as canvas or shepherd tartan ones, 
that wash well, with an alpaca coat, are good for 
warm weather. 

Articles for Daily Use. — A knife, fork, table and tea 
spoon, a pen knife, a hook pot, a baking can, a tin 
pot, capable of holding 2 or 3 gallons of water, a 
lantern, brushes, combs, a mirror and tooth and 
hair brushes with washing basin and a slop pail for 
each mess. 



DIETARY SCALE 



21 



The Wbekly Dietary Scale, 
Second Cabin. 



Day of Week. 


Breakfast. 


Dinner. 


Tea or Supper. 


Sunday. 


Coffee, biscuits 


Preserved pota- 


Tea, biscuits 




and butter. 


toes, preserved 
meat, plum duff. 


and butter. 


Monday. 


do. 


Pea soup, & pork, 
biscuits, mustard 
and pepper. 


do. 


Tuesday. 


Coffee, biscuits, 


Salt beef, preser- 


do. 




butter, cheese. 


ved potatoes and 
plum duff. 


do. 


Wednesday. 


Coffee, biscuits 
and butter. 


Same as Monday. 


do. 


Thursday. 


do. 


Same as Sunday. 


do. 


Friday. 


do. 


Pork & pea soup 
or salt fish with 
rice and butter. 


do. 


Saturday. 


Porridge with 


Salt beef and rice 


do. 




butter, molas- 


with molasses & 






ses or sugar. 


biscuits. 





Intermediate Cabin. 



Day of Week. 


Breakfast. 


Dinner. 


Tea or Supper. 


Sunday. 


Coffee, biscuits 


Preserved meat & 


Tea, biscuits 




and butter. 


plum duff. 


and butter. 


Monday. 


do. 


Pork, pea soup & 
biscuits. 


do. 
do. 


Tuesday. 


do. 


Salt beef, plum 
duff & biscuits. 


do. 


Wednesday . 


do. 


Pork, pea soup, & 
biscuits. 


do. 


Thursday. 


do. 


Preserved meat, 
plum duff and 
biscuits. 


do. 


Friday. 


do. 


Pork, pea soup & 
biscuits. 


do. 


Saturday. 


do. 


Salt beef, rice, 
molasses and 
biscuits. 


do. 



Each mess may have oatmeal cakes and loaf bread fired three or 
four times a week. 



22 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The Eagle, which was commanded by Captain 
Francis Boyle and owned by Gibbs & Bright, of 
Liverpool, may be taken as a good example of a well- 
run ship in the Australian emigrant trade during the 
fifties . 

The above account was published in a newspaper 
printed on board, and gives a very thorough account 
of the routine. This, of course, varied in different 
ships and under different captains, but in the main 
points the methods of the best lines were the same. 

On the passage during which the foregoing account was 
written, the Eagle went out from Liverpool to Hobson's 
Bay in 80 days, her best 24 hours' run being 315 miles. 

Liverpool Shipowners in the Australian Trade. 

Thanks to the activity and enterprise of Liver- 
pool shipowners in ordering new ships, Liverpool 
became the starting point of the rush to the gold 
regions — the chief emigration port in the British Isles, 
not even excepting London. And such a name did 
Liverpool ships gain for their speedy passages that 
*' Liverpool on her stern and bound to go" became 
a regular saying amongst seamen in the fifties. 

Though many of the ships sent away from Liverpool 
to the Colonies were hired by the Government Emigra- 
tion Department, these were only a small fraction of 
the vast fleet sailing out of the Mersey between 1852 
and 1857. The most prominent firms in the great 
emigration trade from Liverpool to Australia were : — 
James Baines & Co., of the Black Ball Line; Pilking- 
ton & Wilson, of the White Star Line ; James Beazley ; 
Henry Fox, of the Fox Line; Miller & Thompson, 
of the Golden Line; and Fernie Bros., of the Red 
Cross Line. 




Mr. JAMES BAINES. 



To face page 23. 



JAMES BAINES 28 

Many of these firms, including the Black Ball and 
White Star, were brokers as well as owners, and very 
often the ships advertised in their sailing lists were 
privately owned. 

James Baines, of the Black Ball Line. 

The Black Ball Line, the most celebrated line 
of passenger ships, perhaps, in its day, owned its 
existence to a little self-made man named James 
Baines. And the Black Ball Line would never have 
become the great concern that it was in its palmy days 
if it had not been for this man's foresight and enter- 
prise. He, it was, who realised the genius of the 
great American shipbuilder, Donald Mackay, and gave 
him an order for four ships, the like of which the 
world had never seen before — ships which knowing 
men in the business pronounced to be too big and 
likely to prove mere white elephants once the first 
rush of gold seekers was over. However, James Baines, 
although he was but a young man of barely thirty, had 
the courage of his convictions, and he proved to be in 
the right, for it was these big Mackay clippers which 
really made the reputation of the Black Ball Line. 

James Baines was a very lively, little man, fair with 
reddish hair. His vitality was abnormal and he had 
an enthusiastic flow of talk. Of an eager, generous 
disposition, his hand was ever in his pocket for those 
in trouble; and he was far from being the cool, hard- 
headed type of business man. He was as open as the 
day and hail-fellow-well-met with everybody, never- 
theless his far-sightedness and his eager driving power 
carried him to the top in so phenomenally short a time 
that his career has become a sort of romantic legend 
in Liverpool. 



24 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

He was born in Upper Duke Street, Liverpool, where 
his mother kept a cake and sweet shop, in which many 
a present-day Liverpool shipowner can remember 
stuffing himself as a boy. Indeed, Mrs. Baines fiad 
such a reputation that she is said to have made one of 
the wedding cakes for the marriage of Queen Victoria. 

The following is the most generally -accepted story 
of James Baines' first venture in ship-owning. In 
1851 a dirty-looking ship with stumpy masts and apple- 
cheeked bows lay in the Queen's Dock, Liverpool, 
with a broom at her masthead, thus indicating that she 
was for sale. This ship, which seafaring men con- 
tamptuously compared to a barrel of pork, had been 
cheaply built at Miramichi, and was evidently going 
for a song. James Baines scraped together what little 
money he had and bought her, sent her out to the 
Colonies and made a good profit on her; and this 
was the humble beginning of the great Black Ball 
Line, which in 1860 possessed 86 ships and employed 
300 officers and 3000 seamen. 

How James Baines came to take the house-flag and 
name of the well-known line of American packet 
ships, which had been running between New York and 
Liverpool since 1816, I have been unable to find out. 
One cannot but think, however, that this must often 
have occasioned confusion in Liverpool business 
circles . 

James Baines' success was, as 1 have said, meteoric, 
and to the end of the fifties he flourished exceedingly. 
He lived in a beautiful house, where he dispensed 
princely hospitality, drove a four-in-hand, and 
thought nothing of buying five ships in one day at 
Kellock's Auction Rooms. But in the year 1860 his 
star began to set. Like many another, he was tempted 



**IN THE BLACK BALL LINE" 25 

by the steam -kettle, with the result that he amalga- 
mated with Gibbs, Bright & Co., who had already 
deserted sail for that doubtful investment, auxiliary 
steam, and had started a service with the ill-fated 
Royal Charter and the equally well-known Great 
Britain. 

The packets and steamers of the combine provided 
a service to Australia from Liverpool twice a month, 
but it is doubtful if the experiment proved a success 
financially. The chief cause, however, of James 
Baines' downfall was the failure of Barnard's Bank. 
At the same time it must be remembered that his 
soft-wood ships, many of which were old Yankee 
clippers already past their pi;ime when he bought 
them, were becoming more and more strained and 
water-soaked, with the result that his repair bill ^was 
ever on the increase, and this just when other firms were 
building iron ships on purpose to compete with his 
wooden ones. The two last ships, in which he had 
any interest, were the Great Eastern and the Three 
Brothers, once upon a time Vanderbilt's yacht and 
famous for its unsuccessful chase of the Alabama^ 
now a hulk at Gibraltar. 

Misfortunes, once they begin, have a habit of 
crowding upon one, and poor old James Baines, for 
some years before his death, had to depend for his 
subsistence on the charity of his friends. Indeed he 
was absolutely penniless when he died of dropsy 
on 8th March, 1889, in a common Liverpool lodging 
house. He was only 66 years of age at his death. 
Yet it will be a very long time before he and his cele- 
brated ships are forgotten in Liverpool. 

In the Black Ball Line I served my time. 
Hurrah ! for the Black Ball Line. 



26 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The White Star Line. 

The White Star Line, the great rival of the 
Black Ball, was started by two young Liverpool 
shipbrokers, John Pilkington and Henry Threlfall 
Wilson. The actual ships owned by them were 
never very numerous , though they included the famous 
Red Jacket and White Star. 

In 1867 Pilkington & Wilson wisely sold their 
soft-wood ships, which by this time were thoroughly 
strained and water-soaked, to various purchasers; 
and parted with their well-known house-flag to the 
late Mr. T. H. Ismay for £1000. Mr. Ismay was joined 
in partnership by Mr. Imrie, and these two men started 
the present White Star Line with iron sailing ships 
for the Australian trade, whilst Messrs. Pilkington 
& Wilson retired on their laurels. 

The Mail Contract. 

I do not think anything shows the enterprise 
of the Black Ball and White Star Lines more clearly 
than the contracts which they signed in 1855 with 
Earl Canning, the Postmaster-General, for the carriage 
of the mails to Australia. Messrs. Pilkington & 
Wilson undertook to carry the mails in the following 
ships, Ben Nevis, Shalimar, Red Jacket, Emma, 
Fitzjames, Mermaid and White Star; and to land 
them in Australia in 68 days, or pay a penalty of £100 
a day for every day over that time . James Baines was 
even more daring, for he accepted a contract to land 
the mails in 65 days with the same penalty attached . 

The *' Marco Polo.'' 

The first ship to shorten the voyage between 
England and Australia was the famous Marco Polo, 



A 




"MARCO POLO." 



^To face vaae 27. 



MARCO POLO 27 

generally spoken of as the pioneer ship of the Black 
Ball Line. 

The Marco Polo was built by Smith, of St. John's, 
N.B., and is described by those who remember her as 
a common six-year Quebec timber ship, '*as square 
as a brick fore and aft, with a bow like a savage bull- 
dog, * ' a big thick lump of a black ship with tremendous 
beam, a vessel you could carry on to glory in, even to 
sporting lower and topmast stunsails in a strong gale. 

The story goes that on her maiden voyage she 
arrived in Liverpool from Mobile with a cargo of 
cotton. Old Paddy McGee, the rag man and marine 
store dealer, bought her cheap and resold her at a 
great profit to James Baines, who refitted her from 
stem to stern for the emigrant trade. 

It is hard to say whether there was really a touch of 
genius in the designing of Marco Polo, or whether she 
owned most of her reputation for speed to the wonderful 
driving power of her famous skipper. I am inclined to 
give James Baines credit for possessing a good eye for a 
ship, and this opinion is strengthened by the following 
description taken from the Illustrated London News 
of 1852. 

The distinguishing feature of the Marco Polo is the pecuUarity of 
her hull. Her lines fore and aft are beautifully fine, her bearings are 
brought well down to the bilge ; thus, whilst she makes amidships a 
displacement that will prevent unnecessary " careening," she has an 
entrance as sharp as a steamboat and a run as clean as can be conceived. 
Below the draught line her bows are hollow ; but above she swells out 
handsomely, which gives ample space on the topgallant foc's'le — in 
fact, with a bottom like a yacht, she has above water all the appearance 
of a frigate. 

The Marco Polo is a three-decker, and having been built expressly 
for the passenger trade is nothing short in capacity or equipment. 
Her height between decks is 8 feet, and no pains have been spared in 
her construction to secure thorough ventilation. In strength she could 
not well be excelled. Her timbering is enormous. Her deck beams 



28 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

are huge balks of pitch-pine. Her timbers are well formed and ponder- 
ous. The stem and stern frame are of the choicest material. The 
hanging and lodging knees are all natural crooks and are fitted to the 
greatest nicety. The exterior planking and ceiling is narrow and while 
there has been no lack of timber there has been no profusion of labour. 

The length of the Marco Polo from stem to stern (inside measure- 
ment) is 185 feet ; her beam is 38 feet ; her depth of hold from the 
coamings 30 feet. Her registered tonnage is 1625, but her burthen 
will considerably exceed 2000 tons. 

On deck forward of the poop, which is used as a ladies' cabin, is a 
" home on deck " to be used as a dining saloon. It is ceiled with 
maple and the pilasters are panelled with richly ornamented and 
silvered glass — coins of various countries being a novel feature of the 
decorations. Between each pilaster is a circular aperture about 6 feet 
in circumference for light and ventilation ; over it is placed a sheet of 
plate glass with a cleverly painted picturesque view in the centre with 
a frame work of foliage and scroll in opaque colours and gold. The 
whole panels are brought out slightly by the rim of perforated zinc, 
so that not only does light from the ventilator diffuse itself over the 
whole but air is freely admitted. 

The saloon doors are panelled in stained glass bearing figures of 
commerce and industry from the designs of Mr. Frank Howard. In 
the centre of the saloon is a table or dumb-waiter made of thick plate 
glass, which has the advantage of giving light to the dormitories below. 
The upholstery is in embossed crimson velvet. 

The berths in separate staterooms are ranged in the 'tween decks 
and are rendered cheerful by circular glass hatch-lights of novel and 
effective construction. 

This mid -Victorian account of a passenger ship and 
her internal decorations is interesting in more senses 
than one, but I fear that in these days when everyone 
seems to be an expert in the artistic merits of old 
furniture and house decoration, many of my readers 
will shudder at the Marco Polo's crimson velvet 
cabin cushions, stained glass panels and richly 
ornamented pilasters. However, at the time all 
these fittings and arrangements for passengers were 
considered a great advance on anything previously 
attempted . 



' * BULLY FORBES ' ' 29 

Captain James Nicol Forbes. 

Marco Polo's first commander was the notorious 
Captain James Nicol Forbes, who had previously 
commanded with great success the Black Ball ships 
Maria and Cleopatra in the Australian trade. 

Bully Forbes is one of the best known characters in 
the history of the British Mercantile Marine. His 
career was as meteoric as his owner's and had as 
sad an end. By two wonderful voyages in the Marco 
Polo and a still more wonderful one in the Lightning, 
he rushed to the head of his profession. Then came 
his eclipse in the wreck of the Schomberg. A life of 
Captain Forbes was printed in Liverpool at the time of 
his triumphs, but it is very scarce and practically 
unobtainable, and thus the history of this remarkable 
man has become shrouded in legend and fairy tale, 
and at this length of time it is difficult to separate the 
fact from the fiction. 

He was born in 1821, a native of Aberdeen. In 1839 
he left Glasgow for Liverpool without a shilling in his 
pocket; but he was a man who could not be kept 
down and he soon gained command of a ship ; and at 
once began to astonish everybody by the way in which 
he forced indifferent ships to make unusually good 
passages. One of his first commands appears to have 
been an old brig, in which he made two splendid 
passages to the Argentine. His success with the Black 
Ball ships Maria and Cleopatra, which were neither of 
them clippers, gave him the command of Marco Polo 
and his chance to break all records. 

In character Captain Forbes was a most resolute 
man, absolutely fearless, of quick decisions, but of a 
mercurial temperament. It goes without saying that 



80 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

he was a prime seaman — his wonderful passages in 
Marco Polo and Lightning are proof enough of this. 
And with regard to the Schombergy I liave little doubt 
in my own mind that Forbes was disgusted with 
her sluggishness and by no means sorry when she 
tailed on to the sandspit. But he evidently failed 
to foresee the bad effect her loss would have on 
his own reputation. In Liverpool, at the many 
banquets in his honour, he had been rather too 
ready to give wine-tinted promises as to what 
he would do with the Schomberg, and the chagrin of 
this, his first failure, was the real cause of his 
downfall . 

After the wrecking of the Schomberg, he sank into 
obscurity, for though he was acquitted of all blame by 
the Court of Inquiry, he could not weather the disgrace. 
For some time he remained in Australia, a *' very sad 
and silent man,*' the very opposite of his usual self. 
However, in 1857 he obtained command of the Has tings y 
but lost her in December, 1850. All this time his 
star was setting, and for a while he was regularly "on 
the beach" in Calcutta. Then in 1862 we find him 
home again and acting as agent for the owners of a 
Glasgow ship called the Earl of Derby, which was in 
distress on the Donegal Coast. Soon after this in 
1864, in the time of the cotton famine, he bobbed up in 
Hongkong in command of a ship called the General 
Wyndhaniy one of Gibbs, Bright & Co.'s, and there 
loaded cotton for Liverpool. He is described then as 
being a seedy, broken-down looking skipper, with the 
forced joviality of a broken-hearted man. He dis- 
cussed the passage down the China Seas (it was S.W. 
monsoon time) with some of the tea clipper captains, 
and displayed all his old bravado, declaring that he 



'*HELL OR MELBOURNE" 31 

would **force a passage." However in spite of his 
big talk, he took 50 days to Anjer. 

I have come across one characteristic story of his 
visit to Hongkong. He was insulted by two Americans 
on the Water Front; in a moment he had his coat off 
and did not let up until he had given them a good 
thrashing. 

He commanded the General Wyndham till 1866, 
and that was the end of his sea service. He died at 
the early age of 52, on 4th June, 1874, in Westbourne 
Street, Liverpool. His tombstone is in Smithdown 
Road Cemetery, and on it is carved his claim to fame, 
the fact that he was * 'Master of the famous Marco Polo.^* 

As long as square-rig flourished, Forbes was the 
sailor's hero, and of no man are'there so many yarns 
still current in nautical circles. 

He is the original of the story, *'Hell or Melbourne," 
though it has been told of Bully Martin and other 
skippers. The yarn goes that on one of his outward 
passages, his passengers, scared by the way in which 
he was carrying on, sent a deputation to him, begging 
him to shorten sail, and to his curt refusal, he added 
that it was a case of "Hell or Melbourne." His 
reputation for carrying sail rivalled that of the Ameri- 
can Bully Waterman, and the same methods are 
attributed to him, such as padlocking his sheets, 
overawing his terrified crew from the break of the 
poop with a pair of levelled revolvers, etc. 

Captain Forbes was a ver\- lithe, active man, and 
one day, as the result of a challenge, he crawled hand 
over hand from the spanker boom end to the shark's fin 
on the jibboom, not such a difficult feat, though not a 
usual one for the master of a ship. Whilst on the 
Lightning, it was his custom to go out on the swinging 



82 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

boom when the lower stunsail was set, and to calmly 
survey his ship from the boom end , when she was tearing 
along before the westerlies. The danger of this pro- 
ceeding can only be realised by an old sailor. If a 
man at the wheel had brought the ship a point or two 
nearer the wind, the probability is that Forbes would 
have been flung into the sea as the boom lifted or 
perhaps the boom itself would have carried away, as 
that was the usual way in which lower stunsail booms 
were smashed up. 

Every man is supposed to have a lucky day, and 
Bully Forbes' lucky day was a Sunday. On his 
record voyage in Marco Polo, he left Liverpool on a 
Sunday, sighted the Cape on a Sunday, crossed the 
line on a Sunday, recrossed the line homeward bound 
on a Sunday, and arrived back on Liverpool on a 
Sunday. After this you may be sure that he took care 
to start his second voyage on a Sunday. 

•* Marco Polo's" First Voyage to Australia. 

On her first voyage to Australia Marco Polo 
was chartered by the Government Emigration Com- 
missioners. She took out no less than 930 emigrants, 
these were selected with care and reported to be nearly 
all young and active Britishers. The married couples 
were berthed amidships, single women aft, and single 
men forward. There was a special hospital or sick 
bay and she also carried two doctors. In ventilation 
and comfort she was far ahead of any previous emigrant 
ship; on deck there were even provided large tubs, 
lined with lead, which the women could use for washing 
clothes. And the proof of her great super ioFity in 
arrangements for emigrants was at once proved on her 
passage out when she only had two deaths of adults 




THE BLACK BAU LINE 
JAMES BAIN ES&C9 



61BBS, BRIGHT &C9 




ABERDEEN CUPPER LINE 
GEO. THOMPSON «fC? 




THE ELDER LINE 
A.L. ELDER &C9 




TORRENS 
FLAGSHIP ELDER LINE. 




THE ORIENT LINE 
DERSON, ANDERSON »C? 




JOHN WILLIS ft SON. 



MARCO POLO 83 

on board, both from natural causes, and only a few 
of children from measles, this at a time when ships 
carrying half the number of emigrants arrived in 
Hobson's Bay with from 50 to 100 deaths aboard. 

Her officers were chosen from the best ships sailing 
out of Liverpool, Forbes' chief mate being McDonald, 
who succeeded Forbes in command of Marco Polo and 
afterwards made a great name for himself in command 
of James Baines. 

The regular crew of the Marco Polo numbered 30 
men, but 30 other seamen worked their passage, so 
Forbes could afford to carry on till the last moment, 
especially as in emigrant ships the passengers were 
always ready for "pully-hauly," in order to get 
exercise, and invariably tailed on to halliard or brace 
when there was occasion. Marco Polo, of course, had 
her full outfit of flying kites, and set three skysails on 
sliding gunter masts, man-of-war fashion, but she did 
not send aloft a moonsail at the main like her great 
successors Lightnings James Baines and Champion of 
the Seas. She had Cunningham's patent topsails, and 
on one occasion reduced sail from royals to double 
reefs in 20 minutes. 

Marco Polo^s departure was not allowed to take 
place without the usual banquet aboard previous to 
sailing, which was such a custom in the fifties. The 
dejeuner, as the reporters called it, was served on the 
ship's poop under an awning. Mr. James Baines 
presided, and his partner Mackay and Captain Forbes 
were vice-chairmen. After the usual round on round 
of toasts, there was the usual speechifying. 

James Baines opened the ball by the customary 
optimistic speech . Mr. Munn, of the Cunard Company, 
followed with the hope that as the Marco Polo was the 



3^ THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

largest ship ever despatched to Australia, so she 
would be the most prosperous. Mr. Mackay said 
that he never felt so much responsibility, as he did that 
day, when he found nearly 1000 souls on board the 
Marco Polo; and Captain Forbes finished up by the 
characteristic remark that "he judged from the 
appearance of her sticks and timbers that she would 
be obliged to go ; and that they must not be surprised 
if they found the Marco Polo in the River Mersey that 
day six months . " 

This prophecy the people of Liverpool duly saw 
fulfilled. The Marco Polo was advertised to sail on 
the 21st June, but she did not actually sail until 
Sunday, 4th July. 

The following is the first shipping notice of this 
wonderful ship : — 

SPECIAL NOTICE. 

And under engagement to sail on the 21st June. 

The Splendid New Frigate-built Ship — 

" MARCO POLO." 

Al at Lloyd's. 2500 tons burthen; coppered and copper fastened; 

now only on her second voyage* ; is the largest vessel ever despatched 

from Liverpool to Australia ; and expected to sail as fast as any ship 

afloat ; has splendid accommodations and carries two surgeons — 

Apply to James Baines & Co. 

After sailing on 4th July, the Marco Polo arrived 
inside Port Phillip Heads at 11 a.m . on 18th September, 
1852, after a record passage of 68 days, having beaten 
the steamer Australia by a clear week. Running her 
easting down her best day's work was 364 miles, and in 
four successive days she covered 1344 miles, an average 
of 336 a day. 

On his arrival in Hobs on 's Bay, Captain Forbes 
found some 40 or 50 ships waiting to sail, held up for 

♦Her first voyage was the one to Mobile. 



MARCO POLO 85 

want of crews; whereupon he promptly had his own 
crew clapped into prison on a charge of insubordination, 
with the result that they were ready to hand when 
he wanted them and thus he was able to set sail again 
for Liverpool on 11th October, 1852. 

Leaving at 5 a.m. on the 11th, the Marco Polo 
passed Banks Straits on the 12th and sighted the Auck- 
land Islands on the 17th. On her passage to the Horn 
she made three successive runs of 316, 318 and 306 
miles, and on 3rd November when she made the Horn 
she logged 353 knots in the 24 hours, the weather being 
recorded as fine. On the 5th November she passed 
Staten Island; and on 19th December saw a barque 
apparently abandoned, and an empty long-boat painted 
stone colour. Forbes showed blue lights and fired 
rockets, but, receiving no reply and being naturally 
in a great hurry, proceeded on his way; and finally 
arrived off Holyhead at 3 p.m. on Christmas Day 
and anchored in the Mersey on Sunday, 26th December, 
1852, 76 days out from Melbourne and only five 
months and 21 days out on the whole voyage. 

This was so much a record that many shipping 
people when they recognised her lying in the Mersey 
though that she must have put back disabled in 
some way. 

And the story goes that a waterman, meeting James 
Baines in the street, said: — "Sir, the Marco Polo 
is coming up the river.'* "Nonsense, man," returned 
Mr. Baines, "the Marco Polo has not arrived out 
yet." Less than an hour after this assertion, James 
Baines found himself face to face with Captain Forbes. 

When the ship hauled into the Salthouse Dock, 
the quays were crowded with people. Between her 
fore and main masts a huge strip of canvas was sus- 



86 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

pended with the following painted on it in huge black 
letters: — The Fastest Ship in the World. 

On this passage she again beat the Australia by 
more than a week, many bets having been made in 
Melbourne as to which ship would arrive first. After 
such a voyage Marco Polo was at once considered to 
be the wonder of the age and people flocked from all 
parts of England to see her. 

Her officers declared that she made 17 knots an hour 
for hours together ; and Doctor North, the chief Govern- 
ment surgeon on board, who had been in the ship 
Statesman when she made her celebrated passage of 76 
days from Plymouth to Australia, declared that the 
Marco Polo was by a long way the fastest vessel he had 
ever sailed in and vastly superior to the Statesman. 

The Marco Polo brought home £100,000 in gold 
dust, and her officers related that on her arrival out 
she was surrounded by boats, the occupants of which 
threw small nuggets amongst her passengers . She also 
brought home a nugget of 340 ounces, purchased by the 
Government of Victoria as a present for the Queen. 

** Marco Polo's*' Second Voyage to Australia. 

After such a record voyage, I find the following 
notice advertising her second departure for Australia. 

BLACK BALL LINE OF AUSTRALIAN PACKETS. 
For passengers, parcels and specie, having bullion safes, will be 
despatched early in February for Melbourne. 
THE CELEBRATED CLIPPER SHIP "MARCO POLO." 
1625 tons register; 2500 tons burthen; has proved herself the 
fastest ship in the world, having just made the voyage to Melbourne 
and back, including detention there, in 5 months and 21 days, beating 
every other vessel, steamers included. 

As a passenger ship she stands unrivalled and her commander's 
ability and kindness to his passengers are well known. 

As she goes out in ballast and is expected to make a very rapid 
passage, she offers a most favourable opportunity to shippers of specie — 
Apply to James Baines & Co., Cook Street. 



BULLY FORBES' SPEECH 87 

Before the Marco Polo was hauled out of the Salt- 
house Dock for her second voyage, another large 
dejeuner was given on board, at which testimonials were 
presented to Captain Forbes and Charles McDonald, 
his first officer. The usual flowery speeches were made, 
but the remarks of Bully Forbes were especially 
characteristic. He said that "as regards his recent 
voyage, he had done his best and he could not say 
he would do the same again, but if he did it, he would 
do it in a shorter time. (Laughter.) He was going 
a different way this time, a way that perhaps not 
many knew of, and the Antelope must keep her steam 
up or he would thrash her (referring to the challenge of 
a race round the world sent him by Captain Thompson, 
of the steamer Antelope). Captain Thompson only 
wanted to get outside Cape Clear and he could make a 
fair wind into a foul one. (Laughter.) That he (Forbes) 
would do his best for the interests of his employers and 
while the Black Ball Line had a flag flying or a coat 
to button, he would be there to button it." 

The Marco Polo sailed on her captain's favourite day 
and also on the 13th of the month, namely, on Sunday, 
13th March, 1853. She had on board 648 passengers 
and £90,000 of specie. The emigrants were composed 
chiefly of men of the artisan class, and there were very 
few women amongst them . This seemed to be a matter 
of great regret, and as the ubiquitous newspaper 
reporter had it: — "One young gentleman, whose 
incipient moustache and budding imperial showed that 
he was shaping his course for the diggings, was heard 
to express his sorrow that there were not more ladies, 
as * they exercised such a humanising tendency on 
mankind, don't you know.' " The reporter goes on 
to describe how one of the passengers was arrested 



38 THE COLONIAL CLIPPlilRS 

for burglary just before sailing and his luggage found 
to be full of jewellery and watches; and how a first 
class passenger (who had left a good legal practice 
for the land of nuggets), dressed in huge sea boots, a 
blue shirt and marine cap, lent a ready hand in hoist- 
ing the anchor and setting the sails and joined in "the 
boisterous refrains of the sailors with evident pleasure . ' * 
The anchor was weighed soon after 10 o'clock and the 
Marco Polo was towed to sea by the Independence. 
The day was beautifully fine, and James Baines and 
his partner Miller proceeded in the ship to beyond the 
N.W. Lightship, returning in the tug. 

Bully Forbes was in a very confident mood, and, as 
soon as the ship was under weigh, had his passengers 
called together and addressed them as follows: — 
"Ladies and gentlemen, last trip I astonished the 
world with the sailing of this ship. This trip I intend 
to astonish God Almighty!" Then turning to his 
ebony cook, who went by the name of Doctor Johnson, 
he said: — "Search well below, doctor, and if you find 
any stowaways, put them overboard slick.*' 

"Ugh, ugh!" chuckled the sable doctor as he 
shuffled below. In a short time he reappeared with 
an Irishman whom he had found concealed in the 
quarters of a married couple. 

"Secure him and keep a watch over the lubber, 
and deposit him on the first iceberg we find in 60° S.," 
growled Forbes, with mock fierceness. The stowaway, 
however, was returned in the tug with the ship's owners. 

The Marco PoWs best runs on the outward passage 
were the following: — 



May 1 


314 miles. 


May 5 


285 miles. 


„ 2 


300 .. 


6 . 


. 288 ,. 


..3 . 


310 „ 


.. 12 . 


. 299 „ 


.. 4 


304 „ 







June 


15 


,, 


16 .. 


II 


16 .. 


,, 


17 .. 


II 


18 .. 



A GOOD WEEK'S RUN 89 

These were nothing extraordinary ; however she 
again made a very good passage and arrived at Mel- 
bourne on 29th May, 75 days out. She left Melbourne 
again at 5 p.m. on 10th June, with 40 cabin passengers 
and £280,000 of gold dust. 

Her best runs this passage were, of course, made on 
the way to the Horn, being: — 

314 miles. June 19 . . 324 miles. 

322 .. „ 20 .. 316 ,. 

322 „ „ 20 .. 316 „ 

294 „ ' „ 21 .. 322 „ 

260 „ 

Total for week 2152 miles. 

But on the 23rd in 60° S. her progress was severely 
stopped by large quantities of small ice, which tore 
all the copper off her bow. 

On the 26th June, when in 141° W., a large ship 
was sighted astern which proved to be Money Wi gram's 
famous Blackwaller Kent, which had sailed 5 days 
ahead of Marco Polo. 

From 27th June to 1st July only small runs could be 
made, the ship being surrounded by ice, but with 
strong northerly winds to help her, she cleared the 
ice on the 1st and at once started to make up time, 
running 303 miles on 2nd July, 332 on the 3rd, 364 on 
the 4th and 345 on the 5th. And on 18th July in 
49° 30' S., with strong S.W. wind, she made her last 
run of over 300. 

However, in spite of these fine runs to the southward, 
the passage was a good deal longer than Forbes antici- 
pated, as Marco Polo was 95 days out when, on 13th 
September she arrived in the Mersey. 

Nevertheless she had made the round voyage in the 
very good time of exactly 6 months, and when Captain 
Forbes appeared ''on Change" about 1 o'clock on the 



40 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

I3th **the cheering was long and loud and he received 
a hearty welcome from all the merchants assembled." 

After-Life of ** Marco Polo." 

At the end of her second voyage Bully Forbes 
left the Marco Polo to take over the Lightning, and was 
succeeded by his chief mate Charles McDonald. 

Leaving Liverpool in November, 1853, with QQQ 
passengers, McDonald took her out in 72 days 12 hours 
or 69 days land to land, and brought her home in 78 
days. Then he left her to take over the James Baines 
and a Captain W. Wild had her. By this time it is 
probable that she was getting pretty badly strained, 
being a soft-wood ship, and whether Captain Wild and 
his successor Captain Clarke were not sail carriers or 
did not like to press her too much, I do not know, but 
her fourth and fifth voyages were not specially good, 
her times being: — 

4th voyage, 1854-5, outward 95 days, under Captain Wild. 

homeward 85 ,, ,, ,, 

6th voyage, 1855, outward 81 days under Captain Clarke 
homeward 86 

She was still, however, a favourite ship, taking 520 
passengers out and bringing home 125,000 ounces of 
gold under Captain Clarke. 

On her sixth voyage she for the first time got into 
trouble as she parted her tow rope when leaving the 
Mersey and got aground off the Huskisson Dock, after 
first colliding with a barque at anchor in the river. 
However she came off on the flood without damage 
and sailed for Melbourne on 7th December, 1855, 
arriving out on 26th February, an 83 -day passage. 
In 1856 she went out in 89 days, leaving Liverpool 
5th September. 



MARCO POLO RAMS AN ICEBERG 41 

Her most serious mishap was on her passage home in 
1861, when she collided with an iceberg on 4th March. 
Her bowsprit was carried away, bow stove in and 
foremast sprung; in fact, so seriously was she damaged 
that she was very near being abandoned. Eventually, 
however, she managed to struggle into Valparaiso after 
a month of incessant pumping. Here she was repaired 
and, continuing her voyage, at length arrived at 
Liverpool on 21st August, 183 days out from Melbourne. 

Though Messrs. James Raines sold her to another 
Liverpool firm in the early sixties, she still continued 
regularly in the Melbourne trade, and as late as 1867 
I find another fine passage to her account, which 
is thus described by Captain Coates in his Good Old 
Days of Shipping: — "Captain Labbet, of Brisbane, 
once told me that in January, 1867, he took passage 
home in the steamship Great Britain. The Marco 
Polo left at the same time and was soon lost sight of. 
A week later the look-out man of the Great Britain 
reported a sail right ahead, and shortly afterwards 
expressed his belief that it was the Marco Polo, in 
which ship he had previously sailed. His opinion, 
however, was scoffed at ; on the ship being neared he 
proved to have been right. She was again distanced 
and the Great Britain made what was esteemed a good 
passage. On taking the pilot off Cork, the first 
question asked was: — "Have you seen the Marco 
Polo?*' The reply came: — "Yes, she passed up 8 
days ago." She had made the passage in 76 days. 

Most Notable Clippers of 1853. 

The Marco Polo was followed across the 
Atlantic by numerous other Nova Scotian built ships 
from the yards of W. & R. Wright and Smith. 



45fi THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The most notable of these were the Ben Nevis, 
which arrived during the summer of 1852, and the 
Star of the East, Miles Barton, Guiding Star and 
Indian Qiieen, which arrived at liiverpool in 1853. 
All these ships were intended to lower the colours of 
Marco Polo, but not one of them succeeded in doing so, 
though they made some very good passages. 

•*Ben Nevis." 

The Ben Nevis was the first ship owned by 
Pilkington & Wilson. She was, however, too short 
and deep for her tonnage, her measurements being: — 

Length over all . . . . . . 181 feet. 

Beam . . . . . . . . 38 feet 6 inches. 

Depth of hold 28 feet. 

Registered tonnage .. .. 1420. 

Commanded by Captain Heron, she sailed for 

Melbourne on 27th September, 1852, with 600 

passengers, a cabin passage in her costing £25, and 
she took 96 days going out. 

The **Star of the East." 

A far more worthy ship to compete with the 
Marco Polo was the Star of the East, which arrived in 
Liverpool on 5th March, 1853, 20 days out from St, 
John's against strong N.E. winds. She was built by 
W. <Sr. R. Wright, her dimensions being: — 

Length of keel 206 feet 

Length over all 237 

^eam ; 40 feet 10 in. 

Depth of hold . . . . . . . . 22 feet 

Registered tonnage .. .. .. 1219 tons. 



BEAZLEY'S STAR OF THE EAST 48 

The following are some of her spar measurements: — 

Mainmast — extreme length 84 feet; diameter 41 inches. 
Main topmast — extreme length 53 feet; diameter 19 inches. 
Main topgallant mast — extreme length 75 feet ; diameter 1 4 inches. 
Bowsprit and jibboom — outboard . . . . . . 65 feet. 

Mainyard . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 „ 

Main topsail yard . . . . . . . . . . 70 „ 

Main topgallant yard . . . , . . . . . , 62 „ 

Main royal yard . . . . . . . . . . 36 „ 

Main skysail yard . . . . . . . . . . 27 , 

Sail area (studding sails excepted) 5500 yards. 

At the time of her launch she was considered 
the finest ship ever built at St. John's. On her 
arrival in Liverpool she was at once bought by Mr. 
James Beazley, having cost him when ready for sea 
£22,683. She loaded for Australia in the Golden Line, 
and. went out to Melbourne in 7^6 days under Captain 
Christian, late of Beazley 's Constance. From Mel- 
bourne she went to Sydney and loaded across to 
Shanghai; then sailing from Shanghai in the favour- 
able monsoon, arrived home in 104 days, 4 of which 
were spent anchored off Gutztaff Island in a typhoon. 
The whole voyage only occupied 9 months 27 days, and 
she cleared £8018 clear profit. Her second voyage on 
the same route she did still better, clearing £8920. 

The **Miles Barton." 

The Miles Barton measured: — 

Length . . . . . . . . . . 175 feet. 

Beam . . . . . . . . , . . 35 ,, 

Depth 22 .. 

Registered tonnage . . . . . . 963 tons. 

She also was bought by James Beazley and loaded in 
the Golden Line. On het maiden voyage she went 
out to Melbourne in 82 days, and followed up this 
performance with two trips of 76 days each. 



44 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The ♦*Guiding Star." 

Arrived in Liverpool in October, 1852, and was 
at once chartered by the Golden Line for £12,000, 
considered a huge sum in those days. Her life, 
however, was not a long one, as she was lost with all 
hands between January and April, 1854, and it was 
generally supposed that she became embayed and 
back-strapped by a huge ice island in about 44° S., 
25° W. 

Tragic encounters with ice were by no means unusual 
in the fifties when every passage maker was trying to 
follow out Maury's instructions by running far down 
into southern latitudes in search of strong fair winds. 

The ** Indian Queen." 

The Indian Queen, 1041 tons, the most notable 
Black Bailer launched in 1853, and advertised as 
Marco Polo^s sister ship, was a very fast vessel, her 
first voyage to Australia being made in 6 months 
11 days, and in 1855 she came home from Hobart in 
78 days. In 1859 she narrowly escaped the fate of 
Guiding Star. On 13th March, 1859, she sailed from 
Melbourne for Liverpool under Captain Brewer, with 
40 passengers and the usual cargo of wool and gold 
dust. All went well until she was half way to the 
Horn, when on the 27th March the weather became thick 
with a strong N.W. wind and heavy westerly swell. 

On the 31st March she was in 58° S., 151° W. by 
account; the day was wet, foggy and very cold and 
the ship logged a steady 12 knots with the wind strong 
at N.W. At 2 a.m. on the following morning those 
below were aroused by a violent shock, the crash of 
falling spars and a grinding sound along the port side, 
and the first of the frightened passengers to arrive on 



INDIAN QUEEN 45 

the poop found the ship lying broadside to broadside 
with an immense iceberg. All her spars and sails 
above the lower masts were hanging over the starboard 
side, the foremast was broken off close to the deck and 
was held at an angle by its rigging, the mainyard 
was in half, the bowsprit was washing about under 
the bows, and though the mizen topmast was still 
standing the topsail yard was in two, broken in the 
slings . 

The night was dark and rainy and at first the watch 
below and passengers thought that all was lost. . They 
found no one at the wheel, the port life -boat gone, 
and not a soul on the poop, but they were somewhat 
reassured by the appearance of the carpenter who 
had been sounding the pumps and pronounced the 
ship to be making no water. Then the second mate 
appeared aft and announced that the captain, mate 
and most of the crew had gone off in the port life- 
boat. Apparently there had been a disgraceful panic 
which involved even the captain, who actually left 
his own son, an apprentice, behind on the ship. 

However those who had been so shamefully deserted 
began to buckle to with a will, headed by the second 
mate, Mr. Leyvret, and the cool-headed carpenter, 
a man named Thomas Howard. Passengers, cooks, 
stewards and those of the crew left on board were 
promptly divided into watches, the captain's son 
was sent to the wheel, and whilst some set about 
clearing up the raffle of gear and getting things ship- 
shape as far as possible, others shovelled the ice, which 
lay in masses on the decks, overboard. 

With some difficulty the cross] ack was backed and 
the head of the spanker hauled in. At the same time 
the boat was perceived tossing in the swell on the port 



46 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

beam and apparently endeavouring to regain the ship, 
and faint cries for help could be heard against the 
wind. She seemed to be without oars and with sea 
after sea washing over, she was soon swept past the 
ship by the back wash off the ice and lost sight of in 
the fog never to be seen again. The ship, though, 
with the backed crossjack, began to drift along the 
side of the berg and presently dropped clear of it into 
smoother water to leeward . 

Day now began to break and all hands set about 
cutting away the wreck, but the mainyard and the 
rest of the raffle hanging from the stump of the main- 
mast was hardly clear before the terrible cry of "Ice to 
leeward!" arose and a huge berg appeared looming out 
of the mist. The crossjack was at once braced up, 
the spanker set and the foresail trimmed in some 
fashion or other, then in a tense silence the survivors 
watched the ship slowly forge ahead and, dragging the 
wreck of masts and spars and torn sails along with her, 
weather the new danger by a bare 100 yards. And 
scarcely had she done so when the foremast fell crashing 
on to the long-boat, the other boats having been 
already stove in by falling spars. The next business 
was to get the wreck of the foremast over the side and 
clear of the ship. Here the carpenter displayed the 
greatest coolness and skill, being ably backed up by 
the second mate and the 4 seamen left on board. 
With the last of the wreck overside, time was found to 
muster the survivors, when it was discovered that the 
captain, chief mate and 15 men had been lost in the 
port life-boat, leaving behind the second mate, car- 
penter, bosun, 4 A.B.'s, 1 O.S. and 2 boys, besides the 
cooks, stewards, doctor, purser, and passengers who 
numbered 30 men, 3 women and 7 children. 



INDIAN QUEEN 47 

A course was now steered for Valparaiso, some 
3800 miles away. It was not until the 7th April 
that the ship got finally clear of the scattered ice, 
but on the 3rd the wind came out of the south and 
with a lower stunsail and main staysail set on the 
main, the ship began to make 3 or 4 knots through the 
water. 

One iceberg of huge size and square like a moun- 
tainous box was only just cleared before it broke in 
two, the smaller portion bursting into the sea like an 
avalanche, and sweeping a huge wave in front of it, 
did not bring up until it was 2 to 3 miles away from 
the rest of the berg . The last ice was seen in 54° S . , it 
being reckoned that the accident had happened in 
60° S. 

As soon as 49° S. was reached, a direct course was 
shaped for Valparaiso. Sheers were now rigged and 
a topmast secured to the stump of the foremast, then 
topsail yards were crossed on the jury foremast and 
mainmast, which improved the ship's progress another 
knot. In this condition the Indian Queen slowly 
wandered north, weathering out gale after gale. On 
the 7th May a welcome sail was sighted. This proved 
to be the New Bedford whaler La Fayette, whose 
captain boarded them, offered them every assistance 
and corrected their longitude, which was 3° out. On 
the following day the French man-of-war Constantine 
appeared and promised to convoy them in. On the 
9th May land was made some 20 miles south of Val- 
paraiso, and on the morning of the 10th, as the crippled 
Indian Queen approached the Bay, the boats of H. M.S. 
Ganges, 84 guns, came out to her aid and towed her in 
to the Roads, where she anchored safely, just 40 days 
after her collision with the iceberg. 



4$ 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Famous ** Sovereign of the Seas." 

My notes on the emigrant ships sailing from 
Liverpool in 1853 would not be complete without some 
mention of the celebrated Ameriean clipper Sovereign 
of the Seas. This ship was built by Donald Mackay 
for the American Swallowtail Line and at the time of 
her launch, June, 1852, was hailed as the largest 
merchant ship in the world, her measurements being: — 

Length of keel 245 feet 

Length between perpendiculars . . . . . . 258 „ 

Length over all . . . . . . . . . . 265 ,, 

Beam . . . . . . . . . . 4 . 44 „ 

Depth 23 „ 

Tonnage (American Register) 2421 tons. 

Her lower masts from deck to cap were:^ 

Foremast 89 feet ; mainmast 93 feet ; mizen 82 feet. 

Her lower yards measured in length : — 

Foreyard 80 feet ; mainyard 90 feet ; crossjack yard 70 feet. 

And her topsail yards: — 

Fore topsail yard 63 feet ; main 70 feet ; mizen 56 feet. 

She spread 12,000 yards of canvas in her working 
suit. 

On her maiden voyage she carried a crew of 105 men 
and boys, including 2 bosuns, 2 carpenters, 2 sail- 
makers, 3 stewards, 2 cooks, 80 A.B.'s and 10 boys 
before the mast. She was commanded by Donald 
Mackay 's younger brother. Captain Lauchlan Mackay, 
one of the best known skippers in the United States. 

Loading 2950 tons of cargo and receiving 84,000 
dollars freight, she sailed from New York for San 
Francisco on 4th August, 1852; and considering the 
season of the year, she made a wonderful run south, 
crossing the equator in 25 days and reaching 50° S. in 
48 days. 



# 



T"' 



^ 



< > "^ 



i^^^^ 







< 
W 
m 

W 
H 

O 

O 
1—1 

w 

p^ 

w 

> 

o 



SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS 49 

She was nine days making the passage of the Horn 
from 50° S. to 50° S.; but shortly after rounding the 
Horn she carried away her fore and main topmasts 
and sprang her foreyard. Captain Mackay, however, 
kept the seas and refitted his ship in 14 days, during 
the whole of which time he is said to have remained 
on deck, snatching what little sleep he allowed himself 
in a deck chair. The Sovereign oj the Seas in spite of 
this mishap arrived in San Francisco only 103 days 
out, and this was considered the best passage ever made 
at such an unfavourable season of the year. 

From San Francisco she went across to Honolulu in 
ballast and there loaded a cargo of sperm oil; it being 
the custom of American whalers to call in there and 
leave their oil for transhipment so as to clear their 
holds for a fresh catch. 

The Sovereign of the Seas left Honolulu on 13th 
February, 1853, for New York, and once again made a 
most remarkable passage in spite of a sprung fore top- 
mast, jur}' fore topgallant mast and a weak crew — no 
doubt a large number of her original crew deserted in 
San Francisco in the hope of reaching the gold diggings, 
but more probably only to be shanghaied on some 
homeward bounder. 

Like all Mackay 's wonderful creations, the Sovereign 
of the Seas was at her best in the roaring forties, and 
on the run to the Horn she made 3144 miles in 10 days, 
her best 24-hour runs being: — 

March 11 ^32 miles. 



.. 12 








312 


„ 16 








396 


.. 17 








311 


„ 18 








411 


.. 19 








360 



During this time she had strong quartering winds 



50 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

and a heavy following sea, which drove her at times 
as much as 19 knots through the water. 

After rounding the Horn, she had the usual weather 
up through the tropics, and arrived at New York on 
6th May, 1853, having made the record passage of 82 
days from Honolulu. 

As she was considered to be too big for either the 
San Francisco or China trades, she was at once loaded 
for Liverpool, there to take part in the booming 
Australian emigrant trade. 

And crossing the Western Ocean she once more 
made an extraordinary passage, as the following 
epitome shows: — 

June 18 — Sailed from New York, passed Sandy Hook at 6.30 p.m. 
,, 24 — Sighted Cape Race at 6 a.m. 
,. 26 — Becalmed on the Banks. 
., 28 — Distance run 344 miles — ship close-hauled under smgle 

reefed topsails. 
,. 30 — Distance run 340 miles, under all sail to skysails and 
royal stunsails off Cape Clear at 6 a.m. 
July 2 — Anchored in the Mersey at 10.30 p.m. 

Passage New York to Liverpool, from dock to anchorage, 13 days 
22 hours 50 minutes, and 5 days 17 hours from the Banks of 
Newfoundland. 

Donald Mackay crossed the Atlantic on the ship 
and spent his whole time watching her every movement, 
and it was probably the experience gained on this 
passage which had much to do with the wonderful 
success of his later vessels. 

On her arrival in Liverpool the Sovereign of the Seas 
was at once chartered by the Black Ball Line . Captain 
Lauchlan Mackay, however, did not remain in her, 
but returned to New York, his place being taken by 
Captain Warner, who had been in the ship since she 
was launched. 

Xaptain Warner sailed from Liverpool on 7 th 



SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS 51 

September, 1853, with 25 first cabin, 40 second cabin 
passengers and a cargo valued at £200,000, and wrote 
the following account of his passage to the Liverpool 
Mercury : — 

I arrived here after a long and tedious passage of 77 days, having 
experienced only light and contrary winds the greater part of the 
passage. I have had but two chances. The ship ran in four consecutive 
days 1275 miles ; and the next run was 3375 miles in 12 days. These 
were but moderate chances. I was 31 days to the equator and carried 
skysails 65 days ; set them on leaving Liverpool and never shortened 
them for 35 days. I crossed the equator in 26° 30', and went to 63° 30 
S., but found no strong winds. I think if I had gone to 58° S. I would 
have had wind enough : but the crew were insufficiently clothed and 
about one half disabled, together with the first mate. At any rate we 
have beaten all and every one of the ships that sailed with us, and also 
the famous English clipper Gauntlet 10 days on the passage, although 
the Sovereign of the Seas was loaded downJ;o 23^ feet. 

Sovereign of the Seas'* passage was, in fact, an ex- 
ceedingly good one, considering all things, but there 
was not much glory attached to beating the little 
Gauntlet, which only measured 693 tons register 
and was built of iron. 

The Sovereign of the Seas sailed from Melbourne 
with the mails and a very large consignment of gold 
dust; but amongst her crew she had shipped some 
old lags, who attempted a mutiny in order to seize, 
the ship and get away with the gold. However, 
Captain Warner succeeded in suppressing these rascals 
without bloodshed and kept them in irons for the rest 
of the passage. 

The Sovereign of the Seas made the splendid time of 
68 days between Melbourne and Liverpool; but after 
this one voyage for the Black Ball she seems to have 
returned to her original owners, who put her into the 
Shanghai trade for a voyage or two before selling her to 
a Hamburg firm. 



52 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



Best Outward Passages for 1853-4, Anchorage to 
Anchorage. 



Ship. 


Port from 


Date Left. 


Date Arrived 
Melbourne. 


Dys. 


Try 


Bristol 


Oct. 12. '52 


Jan. 


12, '53 


92 


A lipore . . 


London 


.. 16, ., 




19. .. 


95 


Marian Moore . . 


Liverpool 


Nov. 15, „ 


Feb. 


15. „ 


92 


Kent 


London 


Jan. 27, '53 


Apl. 


20, „ 


83 


Eagle .. 


Liverpool 


Feb. 22. „ 


May 


13, ., 


80 


Marco Polo 


,j 


Mar. 14. „ 


,, 


29, „ 


76 


Bothnia . . 


^^ 


5, ., 


June 


3, „ 


90 


Ganges .. 


London 


.. 23. ,. 




22. „ 


91 


Osmanli . . 


Liverpool 


Apl. 16. .. 


July 


4. .. 


79 


Indian Queen . . 


,, 


May 17, .. 


Aug. 


8. ., 


82 


Gibson Craig 


London 


June 4, ,, 




22, „ 


79 


Star of the East . . 


Liverpool 


July 7. ., 


Sept. 


23. ,. 


78 


Statesman 


S'thampton 


.. 10, „ 


Oct. 


5, „ 


87 


Tasmania 


Liverpool 


.. 23, „ 


,, 


23. „ 


92 


Mobile . . 


,, 


Aug. 16. „ 


Nov. 


16, „ 


92 


Sovereign of the Seas 


,, 


Sept. 7. „ 


, 


26. „ 


80 


Chimera . . 


,^ 


.. 17. „ 


Dec. 


17. „ 


92 


Neleus . . 




Oct. 5, „ 


" 


24. ,. 


80 


^ying Dragon . . 


London 


.. 14, „ 




30, ,. 


77 


Kent 


^^ 


„ 26, ., 


Jan. 


12. '54 


78 


Marco Polo 


Liverpool 


Nov. 8, ., 




31. ., 


84 


Salem 


^, 


Dec. 7, ,. 


Feb. 


28. „ 


»3 


Essex 




„ ». .. 


Mar. 


12. ,. 


9^2 


Marlborough 


London 


Jan. 1, '54 


,, 


19, „ 


77 


Indian Queen . . 


Liverpool 


.. 29. .. 


Apl. 


21, ,. 


84 


Crest of the Wave 


" 


Feb. 14, „ 


" 


28, „ 


73 



1854— The Year of the Big Ships. 

The result of Sovereign of the Seas'* visit to 
Liverpool and that of her builder and designer Donald 
Mackay was a further order to America and Nova 
Scotia for still bigger ships. 

In fact, Donald Mackay returned to Boston with 
James Baines' commission to build the famous quart- 
ette, Lightning, Champimi of the Seas, James Baines 
and Donald Mackay, which were shortly to astonish 
the world. Against these the White Star Line put 
forward the equally big White Star and Red Jacket, 



SCHOMBERG AND SOBRAON 



53 



two vessels which both in strength, beauty and speed 
were worthy to be ranked on equal terms with the 
great Black Bailers. 

Only two wooden ships were ever launched in 
England which could compare in size with these six 
giants. One of these was the ill-fated Schomberg 
and the other the beautiful Sobraon y which, however, 
had iron frames and was not launched until the palmy 
days of the gold rush were over. Both came from the 
famous yard of Hall, of Aberdeen. Schomberg was, of 
course, wrecked on her maiden passage, but Sobraon, 
though never as hard sailed as the great Black Ball 
and White Star ships, made equally good passages, 
and being built of the finest Malabar teak retained her 
speed right up to the end of^her long and successful 
career. 

In comparing the measurements of the American 
built, Nova Scotian built and Aberdeen built ships 
the most noticeable point is the greater beam of the 
Nova Scotians and the greater length of the British. 

This is well shown bv the following table: — 



American 
Built 


Lightning .. 
Red Jacket 
' Champion of the Seas 
James Baines 
.Donald Mackav . . 


6.54 beams to 

5.64 

5.55 

5.70 

5.72 


length. 


British 
Built 


1 Schomberg . . 
L Sobraon 


5.82 
6.80 




Nova Scotia 
Built 


^ ( Marco Polo 
I White Star 


4.86 
4.84 





Carrying On. 

Perhaps no ships ever sailed the seas which 
held on to their canvas longer than these great Black 
Ball ixnd White Star clippers; and yet the carrying 
away of spars and sails, which was so common an 



54 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

occurrence with the earlier American clippers and 
also with the early British iron clippers, was quite 
rare on these big emigrant ships. 

There is no difficulty, however, in finding reasons 
for their freedom from dismasting and heavy casualties 
aloft, their designers and builders had learnt something 
by the dismastings and constant losses of spars which 
overtook their earlier ships, and thus no ships w^ere 
more scientifically stayed than these big ships, at the 
same time in their outfit we find hemp rigging and 
wooden spars in their highest state of efficiency. 
Strength of gear had for some time been one of the 
chief problems that a clipper ship builder had to 
contend with, and in the rigging of these six famous 
ships we see this problem finally mastered. 

Topsails, topgallant sails and even royals were 
diagonally roped from clew to earing. The rope 
used for standing rigging was the very best procurable 
and of immense thickness; for instance. Lightning's 
lower rigging, fore and main stays and backstays 
were of 11 J inch Russian hemp; whilst in regard to 
spars, here are the diameters in inches of some of 
James Baines' masts and yards: — 



Mainmast 


42 


mches in diameter, 


Main topmast 


21 


> . It 


Main topgallant mast. . 


16 


„ 


Main royal mast 


14 


„ 


Mainyard 


26 


,, ,, 


Main topsail yard 


21 


•> It 


Main skysail yard 


8 


>• >• 



Advantages of a Light Load Line and High Side. 

But added to their greater strength aloft these 
great clippers had another advantage over their older 
sisters in the Californian trade. 



THE LIGHTNING 55 

They sailed on a lighter load line and showed a 
higher side. Four or five hundred emigrants made 
them dry and buoyant instead of wet and hard mouthed. 
Besides being very easy in a sea-way, these big 
emigrant clippers were extraordinarily steady ships 
without any tendency to heavy quick rolling. This 
is easily proved from their logs, for one constantly 
reads that their passengers were able to enjoy dancing 
on the poop when the ships were running 15 and 16 knots 
before the strong gales and big seas of easting weather. 

Speaking at a dinner given in Melbourne in honour 
of Captain Enright, Mr. Alexander Young, a veteran 
voyager to and from the Antipodes, who had just 
travelled out in the Lightning, remarked: — ''I have 
much pleasure in adding my slight testimony to her 
well-earned fame by stating that she is the driest 
and easiest ship I have ever sailed in. I assure you, 
ladies and gentlemen, that we scarcely shipped a 
bucketful of water all the passage, and when going 
16 knots an hour there was scarcely any more motion 
than we feel at the present moment." 

And here are other proofs of the Lightning^ s steadi- 
ness taken from the Lightning Gazette, a newspaper 
published on board : — 

9th February, 1855. — 14 knots upon a bowline with the j^ards braced 
sharp up and while going at this extraordinary rate she is as dry as 
possible, seldom shipping a spoonful of water. During the greater 
part of the day the carpenter was employed on a stage bejow the fore 
chains, where he worked as easily as if it had been calm. 

18th March, 1857. — The wind increases a little towards evening 
and we make 15 to 17 knots an hour, yet the ship is so steady that we 
danced on the poop with the greatest ease (Lat. 42" 34' S., Long. 17° 04' 
W.) 

2 1 St February, 1855. — During this time the ship was going 16 knots 
an hour and in the saloon the motion was so slight that we thought she 
had Qialy a light breeze. 



56 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Examples of Carrying Sail. 

Two or three quotations also from the log books 
and shipboard newspapers may be of interest to show 
the power of these ships to carry sail in heavy weather 
and strong winds. 

Here are two days from the log of the James Baines 
when running her easting down in 1856 : — 

16th June.— Lat. 43° 39' S.. Long. 101° E. ; Bar. 29.80". Wind. 
S.W. to W.S.W, Commences with fresh breezes and squalls of sleet, 8 
a.m., more moderate. Noon, sighted a ship ahead; at I p.m. was along- 
side of her and at 2 p.m. she was out of sight astern. James Baines 
was going 17 knots with main skysail set, the Liber tas, for such was 
her name, was under double-reefed topsails. 

18th June.— Lat. 42" 47' S.. Long. 115° 54' E. Bar. 29.20°. 
Wind, W. to S.W. First part breeze freshening. At 6 p.m. wind S.W, 
and freshening. At 8.30 p.m. in all starboard studding sails ; ship 
going 21 knots with main skysail set. Midnight, fresh gale and fine 
clear night, 8 a,m,, wind and weather the same. Noon, less wind 
attended with snow squalls. Distance 420 miles. 

Then in the Lightning Gazette I find the following 
entries : — 

15th January. 1855.— Lat. 39^ 42' N., Long. 19° 25' E. Wind. 
S.S.E., strong breezes and cloudy, with occasional squalls and showers ; 
the ship going 13 knots close-hauled. In the morning we passed a 
ship outward bound with topgallant sails in and exchanged colours 
with a Swedish brig homeward bound — this vessel was under close- 
reefed topsails, while we were carrying three royals and main skysail. 

26th February, 1855.— Lat. 45° 48' S, ; Long.. 16° 55' E. Wind. 
N.N.W.. course, S.E. Another wet uncomfortable day ; thick mist and 
small rain. The barometer had been falling for a day or two back and 
went down half an inch last night. The change took place at 4 p.m., 
when the wind suddenly shifted to the west and soon afterwards to 
S.W., from whence it blew hard with squalls and occasional showers 
of hail and snow. At 8 p.m. it backed again to west, where it remained 
all night, blowing a fresh gale, the ship running 16 and occasionally 
18 knots per hour with main skysail and topgallant studding sails .set. 

27th February. 1855.— Lat. 46° 22' S., Long. 26° 15' E. Wind, 
west, course S.E. All last night it blew a fresh gale with heavy squalls 
and occasional showers of hail and snow, the sea running high. From 
noon yesterday till noon to-day. we ran down 9 degrees and 20 mile* 



THE LIGHTNING 57 

of longitude and 34 miles of latitude, making 390 geographical miles 
or 450 English miles direct course in the 24 hours, giving an average 
of 16| knots or 18| statute miles per hour. During 6 hours in the 
morning the ship logged 18 knots per hour with royals, main skysail 
and topgallant studding sails set, the wind blowing a fresh gale from the 
westward. 

21st October, 1855.— Lat. 36° 4' S.. Long. 24° 62' W. During the 
afternoon the wind chopped round and blew strongly from the S.W. 
At 5 p.m. sighted a large ship on our weather quarter, sailing undei 
double-reefed topsails and we apprehend they must have taken us for 
the Flying Dutchman seen occasionally in these latitudes, for not- 
withstanding the strong breeze we could be observed carrying our 
sky sails with studding sails 'low and aloft, 

14th March, 1857.— Lat. 34° 47' S., Long. 35° 06' W. The 
breeze a splendid one. A barque on the port beam about 3, homeward 
bound. The wind was as fair for her as wind could be, yet she had no 
royals set. We formed a striking contrast to her, for we — on a wind — 
had all sail set up to main skysail. 

20th March, 1857.— Lat. 43° S., Long. 0° 55' E. We have made 
during the last 47 hours the greatest run that perhaps ship ever made, 
yet all the time we have carried our main skysail and all sorts and 
conditions of studding sails. 

Extraordinary 24-hour Runs. 

I have quoted the above passages to show the 
way in which a Black Bailer could carry sail either 
with a fresh favouring gale or in a strong head wind. 
This is sufficiently astonishing in itself, but what 
amazes most present day sailors and compels many 
of them to be incredulous are such statements as the 
muoh quoted one concerning James Barnes — " Ship 
going 21 knots with main skysail set." 

This and other log book statements have been looked 
upon by many as far-fetched exaggerations, but, 
after careful study of the subject, during which I 
have pricked off the different voyages on a track chart, 
I have come to the conclusion that these amazing 
performances were in no way a stretching of the 
imagination. 



58 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

To begin with, I will give the main arguments 
advanced against them by the sceptics. 

The late Mr. J. N. Barry, writing in an Australian 
paper , remarks : — 

Where American records are concerned much caution must be 
observed in taking their feats of speed for granted. Our cousins had 
a canny fashion of, no matter where they might be sailing, always 
reckoning 60 miles to a degree of longitude whilst doing their easting, 
so that a day's run of, say, 240 miles upon a parellel of 45°, would by 
this means give the distance covered as exactly 100 miles in excess of 
what it should be. 

Another nautical writer remarks: — 

The skippers of many of the celebrated Black Ball clippers were 
not above adopting this mode of calculation, viz., 60 miles to a degree 
of longitude, but while it gave some wonderful results for a single 24 
hours, it did not as a matter of fact make their passages any more 
rapid. 

And I have had letters scoffing at the Black Ball 
records, remarking that their skippers were a leery 
lot and provided "palatable pabulum for the proud 
passengers." 

I will now try and show that these arguments were 
altogether too sweeping, and if they may possibly 
have applied to certain individuals, they are by no 
means fair to the greater number of the skippers. 

In the first place, not one of the Black Ball or 
White Star ships was commanded by an American, 
and though the accusation was levelled at Americans, 
it was evidently done in the belief that the 
American built Australian clippers were commanded 
by Americans. 

In the second place, such men as Anthony Enright, 
of the Lightnings James Nicol Forbes, of the Marco 
PolOf Charles McDonald, of the James Baines, Sam 
Reid, of the Red Jacket, Captain Pryce, R.N.R., of 
the Donald Mackaij, and Alexander New lands, of 



THE LIGHTNING 69 

the Champion of the Seas, were known and respected 
all over the world as leading men in their profession, 
occupying a position in the Mercantile Marine which 
would correspond with that of Orient and P. & O. 
commanders nowadays, whilst their performances 
were very much more widely known, thus such ele- 
mentary cheating as giving 60 miles to a degree in 
the roaring forties would have been exposed at once. 
The greatest 24 -hour run ever accomplished by a 
sailing ship was one of 436 nautical miles made by 
the Lightning when crossing the Atlantic on her 
maiden passage. The second greatest run was also 
made by the Lightning. This was 430 miles when 
running her easting down bound out to Australia 
in 1857, and on the following day her run was 360. 
This wonderful performance drew the following letter 
from Captain Enright to his passengers, and I think 
it will dispose of the 60 miles to a degree accusation, 
at any rate as far as the Lightning and her commander 
are concerned : — 

21st March, 1857. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, — I cannot help informing you of the 
extraordinary run we have made during the last 48 hours — or rather 
allowing for change of time, 46 hours and 48 minutes. During this 
time we have run, by thoroughly good and trustworthy observation, 
no less than 790 knots or 920 statute miles, being an average of nearly 
17 knots or more than 19 J statute miles per hour. Yesterday our 
noble ship made no less than 430 knots amounting to an average during 
the 24 (23 1) hours of more than 18 knots. Our change of longitude 
has amounted to 1 8 degrees, each degree being equal to 44 miles. 

I firmly believe this to be the greatest performance a sailing ship 
has ever accomplished. 

I hope this information will in some degree compensate you for 
the inconvenience which the heavy weather has occasioned you. 
And I remain, Ladies and Gentlemen, 
Very faithfully yours, 

A. Enright, Commander. 



60 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

If further proof is wanted that Captain Enright did 
not allow 60 miles to a degree, but only 44 as he states 
to his passengers, here are the noon positions found 
by observation, not account only, from which the 
runs can be verified on the chart. 

March 18, Lat. 42° 34' S., Long. 17° 04' W. 

19, .. 43° 0' S.. „ 7° 17' W. 

20. „ 43° 0' S., „ 0° 55' E. 

The following is a list of all runs of 400 miles and 
over, which I have been able to verify. 

March 1, \%5i.— Lightning 436 miles. 
March 19, 1857.— „ 430 „ 
February 6,1855. — James Baines 423 miles 
February 27, 1855. — Donald Mackay 421 miles 
June 18, 1856. — James Baines 420 miles. 
February 27, \^M.—Red Jacket 413 miles. 
January 27, 1855. — James Baines 407 miles. 
July 6, 1854.— i?^rf Jacket 400 miles. 

All these performances were made running east, 
making the day's work under 24 hours. 

Several other ships claimed runs of over 400 miles, 
but I have not included these as I have not sufficient 
particulars to verify them. 

Marco Polo is supposed to have done a run of 428 
miles under Captain McDonald on 7th January, 1854, 
and Shalimar 420 miles in 1855 on her first passage to 
Australia, under Captain Robertson. With this general 
account of their powers I must now return to a more 
detailed description of the giant clippers themselves. 

The **Lightning." 

The Lightning was built by Donald Mackay 
to the order of James Baines in the winter of 1853-4 
at a cost of £30,000, and on her arrival in Liverpool 
was furnished and decorated below at a further cost 
of £2000. 



THE LIGHTNING 61 

Her measurements were: — 

Tonnage (builders) 2096 tons, 
(register) 1468 „ 
(burthen) 3500 „ 
Length . . . . 244 feet. 

Beam . . . . 44 ,, 

Depth .. ..23 „ 

Dead rise at half-floor 20 inches. 

Her poop was 92 feet long and her saloon 86 feet, 
whilst she had 8 feet under the beams in her 'tween 
decks, a most unusual hdight for those days. 

With regard to desigm she was one of the sharpest 
ships ever launched. Her model is thus described 
by Captain H. H. Clark: — "She had long, concave 
water-lines and at her load displacement line a cord 
from her cut -water to just abaft the fore rigging 
showed a concavity of 16 inches. Her stem raked 
boldly forward, the lines of the bow gradually becoming 
convex and blending with the sheer line and cut-water, 
while the only ornament was a beautiful full-length 
figure of a young woman holding a golden thunderbolt 
in her outstretched hand, the flowing white drapery 
of her graceful form and her streaming hair completing 
the fair and noble outline of the bow. 

** The after-body was long and clean, though fuller 
than the bow, while the stern was semi -elliptical 
in form, with the plank sheer moulding for its base, 
and was ornamented with gilded carved work, though 
this really added nothing to the beauty of the strong 
sweeping outline of her hull." 

The Lightning^ s spar and rigging measurements 
were tremendous: — 

Mainmast, deck to truck . . . . . . 164 feet. 



Foremast 

Mizenmast 

Mainyard 

Lower stunsail booms 



151 

115 

95 

65 



62 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

She spread 13,000 yards of canvas when under all 
plain sail. Donald Mackay had her rigged as a 
three skysail yard ship, but later Messrs. James Baines 
fitted her with a moonsail on the main by lengthening 
the skysail mast. This was also done in the case of 
James Baines. And these two ships had the proud 
distinction of being perhaps the only two ships afloat 
which regularly crossed a moonsail yard. 

The TAghtning was provided with iron water tanks 
holding 36,000 gallons of water — a novelty at that 
date. And in various other ways her accommodation 
for passengers was an improvement on anything 
attempted before. 

The great Bully Forbes was sent out to Boston to 
superintend her outfit and take command of her, and 
he was lucky in finding a valuable friend and adviser 
in Captain Lauchlan Mackay, who made the trip to 
Liverpool in her as builders' representative. 

The *' Red Jacket." 

The Red Jacket, Lightning^ s great rival, was 
designed by Samuel A. Pook, of Boston, the well- 
known designer of Game-cock, Surprise, Northern 
Light, Ocean Telegraph, Herald oj the Morning, and 
other famous clipper ships. She was built by George 
Thomas at Rockland, Maine, for Messrs. Seacomb & 
Taylor, and only took the water a few days before 
the Lightning, 

Her measurements were: — 



Tonnage (registered) . . 


. . 2460 tons 


(burthen) 


. . 5000 „ 


Length 


. . 260 feet. 


Beam 


.. 44 .. 


Depth 


• ■ 26 ., 



Though her bow and stern were very sharp and 



LIGHTNING AND RED JACKET 63 

beautifully modelled and she had concave bow lines, 
she was not so extreme a ship as the Lightning. 

Donald Mackay's ships were chiefly distinguished 
for their powerful workmanlike appearance rather 
than for delicate beauty — they showed strength rugged 
and unmistakable, but the Red JackeVs strength 
was more disguised under graceful curves; for instance, 
she had the graceful arched stem and clipper bow 
of a China ship, whereas lAghtning^s stem was almost 
straight, with only a very slight curve in it. 

Red Jacket was not named after Tommy Atkins, but 
after a great Indian chief, and her figure-head was a 
beautiful representation of this warrior in all the magni- 
ficence of feather head-dress and beaded buckskins. 

Race across the Atlantic between **Lightning" 
and **Red Jacket." 

The Lightning loaded at Constitution Wharf, 
Boston, and sailed for Liverpool on 18th February, 
1854, whilst the Red Jacket sailed from New York 
on the following day, and great interest was shown 
in shipping circles as to which should make the best 
passage across the Atlantic. 

In the end these two magnificent clippers arrived 
in Liverpool on the same day, 4th March, their exact 
times being: — 

Red Jacket — Sandy Hook to Rock Light 13 days 1 hour. 
Lightning — Boston Light to Rock Light 13 days 19 J hours. 

Their 24 -hour runs opened the eyes of the packet 
ship commanders and in fact the whole world. 

The Red Jacket put up runs of 413, 374, 371, 343, 
and 300 against the lAghtning's 436, 328, 312 and 306, 
thus there was little to choose between the two vessels 
on this point. 



64 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Boston Daily Atlas of 18th February, 1854, 
thus describes the Lightning^ s departure from Boston : — 

At 2 o'clock the Lightning hove her anchor up, and at 3 o'clock 
discharged her pilot off Boston Light. She went down in tow of the 
steamer Rescue, Captain Hennessy, and was piloted by Mr. E. G. Martin. 

Before the steamer left her, she set her head sails, and fore and mizen 
topsails, and had a moderate breeze from W. to S.W. She appeared 
to go at the rate of 6 knots under this canvas, though she draws 22 feet 
of water and has only 23 feet depth of hold. 

We have seen many vessels pass through the water, but never saw 
one which disturbed it less. Not a ripple curled before her cut-water, 
nor did the water break at a single place along her sides. She left a 
wake as straight as an arrow and this was the only mark of her progress. 
There was a slight swell, and as she rose we could see the arc of her 
forefoot rise gently over the seas as she increased her speed. At 5 p.m., 
two hours after the pilot left her, the outer telegraph station reported 
her 30 miles east of Boston Light with all drawing sails set and going 
along like a steam boat. 

And the following extract from her log book was 
published in the Liverpool Albion on her arrival. 

Distance. 

Feb. 19 Wind, W.S.W. and N.W. moderate . . . . 200 miles. 

20 ,, N.N.E. and N.E. strong breezes with snow 328 

21 ,, E.S.E. with snow storms .. .. .. 145 ,, 

22 ,, E.S.E., a gale with high cross sea and rain 114 ,, 

23 ,, N., strong gales to E.S.E. ; ends moderate 110 

24 „ S.E., moderate 312 „ 

25 ,, E.S.E. and S.E., fresh breezes with thick 

weather . . . . . . . . . . 285 „ 

26 „ W.S.W., moderate 295 „ 

27 „ W.N.W. , 260 ., 

28 „ W. and N.W., steady breezes . . . . 306 „ 
March 1 ,, South. Strong gales ; bore away for the 

North Channel ; carried away the fore 
topsail and lost jib ; hove the log several 
times and found the ship going through 
the water at the rate of 18 to 18 J knots ; 
lee rail under water and rigging slack 436 „ 

2 „ South, first part moderate, latter part light 

and calm. 

3 „ Light winds and calms. 

8 „ Light S.E. winds and calms ; at 7 a.m. off Great Orme's 
Head. 1 2 noon off the N.W. lightship. 



RED JACKET 66 

On 28th February at noon she was in Lat. 52° 38' N., 
Long. 22° 45' W., and her run of 436 nautical miles 
from that position to her noon position on 1st March 
gives her the greatest day's work ever accomplished, to 
the best of my belief, by a sailing ship. The 1st 
March entry ** Wind south — bore away for the North 
Channel," has misled some nautical critics, who have 
plotted her as being up with Rathlin Island when she 
bore away, without noticing the direction of the wind. 
The log is rather ambiguously worded, but her run of 
436 miles puts her some 30 miles west of Achill Head — 
and she then bore away north, bringing the wind on the 
starboard quarter. If she had been off Rathlin Island 
she would have had to bring the wind on the star- 
board bow for the course through the North Channel . 

Captain Charles McDonald always hoped to get 
a day's run of 500 miles out of the James Baines, and 
firmly believed she could do it; but he never succeeded 
in beating the Lightning'' s records. 

The Red Jacket, which was under the command 
of Captain Asa Eldridge, of American packet ship fame, 
had strong winds from S.E. to W.S.W. with rain, 
snow and hail. As with Lightning, the first half of 
her passage was the slowest half and for the first seven 
days she could only average 182 miles a day. But 
with practically the same weather, it is interesting 
to compare the performances of the two vessels as 
they approached the Irish Coast. Red Jackets last 
six runs were 219, 413, 374, 343, 300, and 371, giving 
a total of 2020 and an average of 336 . 

The only vessel that has ever beaten this six-day run 
is the famous Cutty Sark, which in 1876, before her 
wings were clipped, ran 2163 miles in six days in the 
roaring forties, when outward bound to Sydney. 

D 



66 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

**Red Jacket's'' First Voyage to Australia. 

At Liverpool Captain P^ldridge handed over his 
command to Captain Samuel Reid, who managed to 
get the Red Jacket away for Australia, as one of the 
White Star regular packets, 10 days ahead of Captain 
Forbes. The Red Jacket sailed on 4th May, 1854, 
one day behind a new Nova Scotian built Black Ball 
packet named the Mermaid, 

On the 10th May the two ships were off Oporto, and 
kept close to each other as far as Teneriffe; the N.E. 
trades were poor and it was a light weather passage to 
the line, which was crossed on 29th May by the Red 
Jacket, the Mermaid being then in 1° north. 

From this point the Red Jacket, steering a more 
westerly course, had light and variable winds, whilst 
the Mermaid was better treated and reached the latitude 
of the Cape five days ahead, and still held better winds, 
being actually 1397 miles ahead of the Red Jacket on 
15th June. Red Jacket, indeed, did not really get going 
until 26th June, but from that date her log is so remark- 
able that I give it below. 

The Red Jacket was in 40° S., 14° E., before there was 
any need to touch her topgallant sheets, and Captain 
Reid was evidently determined to find wind somehow, 
with the result that, in spite of it being the depth of 
winter, he was not deterred from standing far to the 
southward on a Great Circle course. He was rewarded 
by all the wind he could desire, but so great was the 
cold that the ship was put down by the head by the 
frozen spindrift which covered her to the mainmast in 
an icy mantle. 

Her log from 26th June, when she first began to feel 
the benefit of the westerlies, was as follows : — 



RED JACKETS LOG 



67 



Date. 


Lat. 


Long. 


Weather 


Dist. 


June 26 


48 065 


34 44E 


Var. and stiff rain and sleet. 


315 


27 


50 06 


42 19 


Wind N.W.. fresh and squally 
with hail, very cold weather. 


330 


28 


50 54 


49 16 


Wind W.N.W.. squalls with 
hail showers. 


263 


29 


50 34 


56 34 


Wind N.N.W., squalls, entire 
fore part of ship covered with 
ice. 


286 

1 


30 


52 03 


63 50 


Wind N.N.W., fresh with hail 
squalls ; very cold, air 19°. 


287 


July 1 


51 39 


71 21 


Wind N.N.W., fresh, with hail 
squalls, latter part light, air 

Wind S.W., first part calm, 


286 


2 


50 29 


72 26 










latter part heavy gales and 










heavy sea. 




3 


50 12 


80 30 


Wind W.S.W., first part heavy 
gales, latter part fresh 
breezes, high sea, freezing. 


312 


4 


49 25 


88 30 


Wind variable, fresh gales and 
heavy sea, freezing, rain and 
sleet. 


300 


5 


49 13 


95 00 


Wind N.N.W., first part light 
and heavy rain, latter stiff, 
with heavy squalls. 


288 


6 


48 38 


104 15 


Wind W.N.W., strong gales 
and squalls, heavy sea. 


400 


7 


47 25 


112 44 


Wind variable in strength and 
direction. 


299 


8 


46 38 


119 44 


Wind N.N.W., stiff and squalls, 
with rain. 


350 


9 


45 09 


129 18 


Wind N.N.W., strong and 
squally, with rain. 


357 


10 


42 42 


134 38 


Wind N.N.W., fine weather. 


334 


11 


40 36 


139 35 


Wind N.W., heavy squalls and 
rain. 


245 


12 






Wind N.N.W., fine weather. 
Made King's Island at 10.50 
p.m., crossed bar at 1 1 .50p.m. 


300 



Red Jacket made the passage from Rock Light to 
Port Phillip Heads in 69 days 11 hours 15 minutes; 
passage under sail 67 days 13 hours, total distance run 
13,880 miles. 

The Mermaid, which gained such an advantage over 
the Red Jacket in the earlier part of the passage, ran 



68 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

her easting down a good deal further to the northward, 
and did not arrive till the 17th July, having made a 
passage of 74 J days. 

Red Jacket set sail on her homeward passage on 3rd 
August. She was not in very good trim this time, being 
too light and very much down by the stern, however, 
she still continued to show her quality, constantly 
logging 17 or 18 knots in fresh breezes and 14 and 15 
knots when close-hauled Only once on the homeward 
passage were her topsails close -reefed and only once 
did she ship any water. This was on the 31st August 
in a heavy squall with foresail and fore and main top- 
gallant sails set. 

She rounded the Horn on the 23rd August, only 20 
days out, her week's work averaging out as follows: 

1st week 231 miles per day. 
2nd „ 307 „ 
3rd „ 254 „ 

But on the day after she had rounded the Horn, she 
had a narrow escape of being embayed by ice, and one 
of her passengers gave the following account of her 
danger to the newspapers: — **0n the morning of 24th 
August, I was roused out of sleep by the noise of shorten- 
ing sail and the look-out singing out land. Ice had 
been seen some time before, but the solid masses had 
been supposed in the dark to be land. On getting out 
I found we were in smooth water and large masses of ice 
floating about us. As the day broke, we found ourselves 
sailing along a lake of water not unlike a canal. The 
ice seemed to extend on every side in solid fields as far 
as the eye could reach without any prospect of getting 
out, so that we had to follow the channel. All sail was 
clewed up except the topsails, and as there was a good 
breeze we proceeded along at about 4 or 5 knots. Our 



RED JACKET 69 

situation at this time seemed most appalling, as we 
appeared to be getting further into the ice, so that by 
10 or 11 o'clock we were almost making up our minds 
to remain for weeks in this fearful situation. 

**About noon the captain and second mate, who had 
been on the fore topsail yard all the morning, discovered 
clear sea again, to gain which we had to force a passage 
through dense masses of ice. It was here she sustained 
the principal damage to her stem and copper. We 
soon got clear and the rest of the day we saw no traces 
of ice and were very thankful we had got off so 
easily. But to our dismay at 8 p.m. we again fell in 
with it. The ship was put about and sail shortened for 
the night and we ran back to the clear water in which 
we had been sailing. At daybreak sail was made and 
at 7 a.m. we came up to the ice. At first it was only 
large pans much melted, the water having all the appear- 
ance of brine and being quite thick round them. After- 
wards large masses of icebergs presented themselves. 
In grinding the ship through these, great difficulty was 
experienced — very large bergs were also interspersed 
and visible all round. 

'*This day we cleared it again about noon. Icebergs 
were still, however, seen both near and in the distance; 
their appearance was most grand, the largest being 
thought to be about 2 miles in circumference and 100 
feet high. It was passed about 4 or 5 miles distant 
on our starboard and lee side 

**We hove to again at night. Next day, Saturday, 
was for the most part a dead calm and we were carried 
back with the current. There was not a breath of wind ; 
a clear sky and beautiful weather, only the air sharp. 
Icebergs were, however, still seen. The next day, 
Sunday, we passed a number more, which were the 



70 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

last ice seen. One of these was most grand, being 

about 200 feet high. We cleared it on our port or 

windward side about a mile or less distant. The 

weather during this period was clear and fine. Indeed, 

the day before encountering the ice was beautiful, a 

fine light breeze which heightened towards evening 

and sea smooth. We were running close-hauled 14 

knots an hour steadily during the night. The sun had 

set a deep crimson behind a bank of clouds over against 

Cape Horn." 

Red Jackets next three weeks' runs averaged: — 

4th week . . 205 miles per day. 

6th week . . 237 ,, „ (Mostly light breezes. 

squalls and rain.) 
6th week .. 224 ,, ,, (Easterly winds.) 

The line was crossed on 13th September, the Red 
Jacket having run 10,243 miles in 42 days, an average of 
244 per day. She now had every hope of beating the 
record, but, alas, from here on she had nothing but 
calms and light head winds which drove her across 
into 43° W. and she was 31 1 days from the line to port, 
reaching Liverpool on 15th October, after a passage 
of 73 days. This was considered an extraordinary 
performance, when allowance was made for the light 
weather experienced after crossing the line. During 
one whole week in the doldrums she averaged under 
100 miles per day, and the two following weeks she 
only averaged 142 and 106 miles respectively. 

The whole voyage, however, had been a wonderfully 
fast one. She had made the trip, out and home, in 
5 months 10 days and 22 J hours, and had actually 
circumnavigated the globe in 62 days 22 hours, between 
11th June and 2nd September, running 15,991 miles in 
that time. 

On her homeward passage she ran 14,863 miles, her 



LIGHTNING'S FIRST VOYAGE 71 

greatest day's work being 376 miles and her average 
202 J miles per day. 

She brought home gold dust and sovereigns to the 
value of £208,044. She sailed this voyage under the 
American flag, being only chartered by the White Star 
Line, but on her return to Liverpool Messrs. Pilkington 
& Wilson bought her for the sum of £30,000. 

The ** Lightning's" First Voyage to Australia. 

The Lightning, with the famous Bully Forbes in 
command and the almost equally famous Bully Bragg 
as mate, left Liverpool on the 14th May for Melbourne. 
But unlike the Red Jacket, she had a light weather 
passage out, her topgallant sails being carried the whole 
way. She crossed the line 25 days out and took 30 days 
running from the meridian of the Cape to Port Phillip 
Heads, arriving off Sandridge Pier on the afternoon of 
31st July, 77 days from Liverpool, her best runs being 
348, 332, 329, 311, and 300. 

On the morning of the 20th August she left her 
anchorage at Melbourne in company with the Mermaid, 
having gold dust on board to the value of £1,000,000. 
The tug dropped her off the Heads at 4 p.m., and by 
the following noon she had done 268 knots. At 4 a.m. 
on the 24th she passed a large ship supposed to be the 
Mermaid, and at 10 p.m. on the same day passed the 
Auckland Islands. From here she had fresh westerly and 
south-westerly winds, seldom logging less than 14 and 
frequently 18J and 19 knots per hour. Forbes carried 
on in the most daring manner, and on the Lightning'* s 
arrival at Liverpool her passengers told weird stories 
of Bully Forbes keeping his station at the break of the 
poop with a pistol in each hand in order to prevent 
his scared crew from letting go the royal halliards. 



72 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

By 28th August the ship was in 57° 20' S., but at 
11 p.m. on this day a violent squall from the 
S.W. carried away the fore topmast stunsail boom, 
and a moment later the fore topmast went over the 
side, the fore royal, fore topgallant sail and fore 
topsail being blown out of the bolt ropes at the same 
instant. 

For the next four days the ship was kept under easy 
canvas whilst a new fore topmast was got aloft and the 
other damage made good. However, in spite of this 
delay the ship averaged 300 miles from 1st September 
to the 8th, when Cape Horn bore N.W., distant 50 
miles at 3 a.m.; Lightning^ s actual time from the 
Heads to the Horn was 19 days 1 hour, a record. 
For the next three days she had the wind ahead at N.E., 
but on the 13th it came out of the south again strong, 
and her runs on the 13th and 14th were 351 and 354 
miles respectively. Then from the 15th to the 20th 
with light head winds again, she could only average 
6 to 7 knots an hour. On the 20th September she was 
in Lat. 29° 13' S., Long. 31° 40' W. Light N.E. and 
N.N.E. winds still held right up to the line. On the 
28th she passed Pernambuco, 6 miles off, and at 9 a.m. 
on 30th September she crossed the equator in Long. 
34° 30' W., being onl}'' a little over 40 days mean time 
from Port Phillip, which, considering the poor winds 
met with after rounding the Horn, was a wonderful 
performance. 

For the first five days after crossing the line she had 
the usual doldrums with torrents of rain and made little 
or no progress. On 5th October a gentle N.E. trade 
was picked up in 10° N., 34° W., which held until the 
10th when she was in 30° N., 37° W. On the 11th and 
12th she had moderate S.E. winds, being in the latitude 



CHAMPION OF THE SEAS. 




Scale 



LIGHTNING." 



2> 28 J£ 36 



[To face page IZ. 



CHAMPION OF THE SEAS 73 

of St. Michael's at noon on the 12th. For the next 
week she had nothing but very light N.E. and E.N.E. 
winds, but at 10 p.m. on the 19th when in 46° 15' N., 
28° W., a strong northerly breeze sprang up which 
held until she reached port. 

She was off the Old Head of Kinsale at 4 a.m. on 22nd 
October, passed Minehead at 10 a.m., the Tuskar at 
3.30 p.m., and Holyhead Light at 8.30 p.m. A pilot 
was picked up off Point Lynas at 10.30 p.m., who 
kept her under easy sail through the night, wait- 
ing for enough water to take her over the bar. The 
Lightning anchored in the Mersey at 9.30 a.m. on 
23rd October; her actual time being 64 days 3 hours 
10 minutes, a record, which, I believe, has never been 
broken. 

The Lightning brought answers to letters sent out in 
the Great Britain which left Liverpool on 13th June, 
thus making a course of post of only 132 days. The 
Lightning'' s round voyage, including 20 days in port, 
was only 5 months 8 days and 21 hours. 

**Champion of the Seas." 

Whilst the Red Jacket and Lightning were 
astonishing the wci'ld, Donald Mackay was building 
the Champion of the Seas and James Baines for the 
Black Ball Line. He was given a free hand, and the 
new vessels were intended to be more perfect than 
anything he had hitherto attempted. 

The Champion of the Seas was launched in April, 1854, 
and, owing to the monster four -master Great Republic 
being cut down a deck, claimed the honour of being 
the largest ship in the world until the James Baines 
eclipsed her. 



74 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Her hull measurements were as follows : — 

Tonnage (builders' measurement) . . . . . . 2447 tons. 

(registered) 1947 „ 

Length of keel 238 feet. 

between perpendiculars . . . . . . . . 252 ,, 

Fore rake .. .. .. .. .. .. ..14 

Extreme beam .. .. .. .. .. .. 45^ ,, 

Depth 29 ., 

Dead rise at half-floor .. .. .. .. .. 18 inches. 

Sheer 4^ 

Concavity of load line forward .. .. .. . . 2J 

In strength of construction she was a considerable 
improvement on the Lightning. Her ends were as long 
but not quite so sharp or concave and were considered 
to be more harmoniously designed . She had an upright 
sternpost and her stern was semi -elliptical and orna- 
mented with the Australian coat -of -arms. Her figure- 
head was a life-like representation of the old-time 
shellback and was an object of interest wherever 
she went . 

It is thus described by Captain Clark: — **One of 
the most striking figure-heads was the tall square-built 
sailor, with dark curly hair and bronzed clean-shaven 
face , who stood at the bow of the Champion of the Seas . 
A black belt with a massive brass buckle supported his 
white trousers, which were as tight about the hips as 
the skin of an eel and had wide, bell-shaped bottoms 
that almost hid his black polished pumps. He wore a 
loose-fitting blue and white checked shirt with wide 
rolling collar and black handkerchief of ample size, 
tied in the most rakish of square knots with long flowing 
ends . But perhaps the most impressive of this mariner 's 
togs were his dark -blue jacket and the shiny tarpaulin 
hat which he waved aloft in the grip of his brawny 
tattooed right hand." 



CHAMPION OF THE SEAS 75 

The Champion of the Seas had her greatest beam at 
the centre of the load displacement line, and, like the 
Lightning, she was fuller aft than forward. Her deck 
houses and cabin arrangements were also on the same 
plan as th(3se of the Lightning, viz., a topgallant foc's'le 
for the crew; a house, 50 feet^long, abaft the foremast, 
for petty officers, galleys and second class passengers; 
a small house, 16 feet square, contained the chief 
mate's quarters and sheltered the first class companion, 
whilst a large wheel-house astern had a smoking-room 
on one side and the captain's cabin on the other. 

The following details of her construction, taken 
from an American paper, may be of interest to present 
day wood shipwrights : — * * Her entire frame was of 
seasoned white oak and all her hooks, pointers and 
knees were of the same wood , her planking and ceiling 
being of hard pine, and she was square fastened through- 
out and butt and bilge bolted with copper. The keel 
was of rock maple in two depths, each 16 inches square. 
The floor timbers were moulded 21 inches on the keel 
and sided from 12 to 13 inches, and over them were 
four tiers of midship keelsons, each 16 inches square, 
and on each side of these were two depths of sister 
keelsons of the same size, the whole scarphed and keyed 
and fastened with If inch bolting. The whole frame, 
fore and aft, was diagonally cross-braced with iron, 
5 inches wide, | of an inch thick and 38 feet long. 
These braces were bolted through every frame and 
through every intersection; were let into the timbers 
and ceiling and extended from the first futtocks to the 
top timbers. All the waterways as well as the keelsons 
and ceiling were scarphed and bolted in the most 
substantial style. The upper deck was of white pine 
31 inches thick and the other decks of hard pine of the 



76 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

same substance. Her ends were almost filled with 
massive hooks and pointers . The hooks in the between 
decks were beamed and kneed and fastened through all. 
Her garboards were 9 by 15 inches, the next strake 8 by 
14, the third 7 by 14; the bottom planking 5 inches 
thick, the wales 6 by 7 and the waist 4 J inches thick, 
the whole finished smooth as joiner work and strongly 
fastened . ' ' 

The Champion of the Seas had about the same sail 
area and spar measurements as the Lightning, Her 
masts and bowsprit were built of hard pine and the 
masts were 74 and 63 feet apart. The foremast raked 
J inch to the foot, the main f and the mizen 1 inch. 
When she left the builders her working suit of sails 
consisted of 12,500 yards of American cotton, 18 inches 
in width. 

She was of course painted the regulation Black Ball 
colours, black outside and white inside, with blue 
waterways. Her masts white, mastheads and yards 
black, and stunsail booms bright with black ends. 
Captain Alexander Newlands was sent out from Liver- 
pool to superintend her outfit and take command, 
the lighting and ventilation below being carried out 
according to his designs. On her completiop the 
Champion of the Seas was towed to New York by 
the famous Boston tug R, B, Forbes and from thence 
came across to Liverpool in the month of June in 
16 days. 

She left Liverpool on her first voyage to Australia 
on 11th October, 1854, and arrived out in 72 days, 
coming home again in 84, thus proving herself quite 
up to the standard of the famous Black Ball Line, and 
from that date she was always a favourite ship. 




W 
"A 

% I 



THE JAMES BAINES 



77 



The '* James Baines.'' 

The Champion of the Seas was closely followed by 
the James Baines, considered by most sailormen to 
liave been the finest and fastest of the great Mackay 
quartette. When she loaded troops for India in 1857 
and was inspected by Queen Victoria at Portsmouth, 
the Queen remarked that she did not know she possessed 
such a splendid ship in her Mercantile Marine. 

When she first arrived in Liverpool a well-known 
Liverpool shipowner wrote to a Boston paper: — ** You 
want to know what professional men say about the ship 
James Bainesl Her unrivalled passage, of course, 
brought her prominently before the public and she has 
already been visited by many of the most eminent 
mechanics in the country. She is so strongly built, so 
finely finished and is of so beautiful a model that even 
envy cannot prompt a fault against her. On all hands 
she has been praised as the most perfect sailing ship 
that ever entered the river Mersey . " 

Donald Mackay never built two ships exactly alike, 
and the James Baines was of slightly fuller design than 
the Lightning and yet sharper and longer in the bow 
than the Champion of the Seas . 

Her chief measurements were 



Registered tonnage (American) 

„ (British) 
Length over all 

„ between perpendiculars 
Beam 

Depth of hoJd 
Dead rise at half -floor . . 



2525^ tons. 
2275 „ 
266 feet. 
226 „ 
44| „ 
29 ., 
18 inches. 



The following extracts are taken from an account of 
the James Baines given in the Boston Atlas at the time 
of her launch : — '* She has a long, rakish, sharp bow with 
slightly concave lines below, but convex above, and it 



78 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

is ornamented with a bust of her namesake, which was 
carved in Liverpool and which is said by those who 
know the original to be an excellent likeness. It is 
blended with the cut-water, is relieved with gilded 
carved work and forms a neat and appropriate 
ornament to the bow. She is planked flush to the 
covering board, has a bold and buoyant sheer, graduated 
her whole length, rising gracefully at the ends, parti- 
cularly forward; and every moulding is fair and 
harmonises finely with the planking and her general 
outline. Her stern is rounded, and although she has a 
full poop deck, her afterbody surpasses in neatness that 
of any vessel her talented builder has yet produced. 

** Our most eminent mechanics consider her stern 
perfect. It is rounded below the line of the plank 
sheer, is fashioned above in an easy curve, and only 
shows a few inches of rise above the outline of the 
monkey rail : and as this rise is painted white and the 
rest of the hull black, when viewed broadside on, her 
sheer appears a continuous line along her entire length. 
Her stern is ornamented with carved representations of 
the great globe itself, between the arms of Great Britain 
and the United States, surrounded with fancy work, 
has carved and gilded drops between the cabin windows 
and her name above all, the whole tastefully gilded 
and painted. Her bulwarks are built solid and are 
surmounted by a monkey rail, which is panelled inside, 
and their whole height above the deck is about 6 feet, 
varying of course towards the ends . 

**She has a full topgallant foc's'le, which extends 
to the foremast and is fitted for the accommodation of 
her crew; and abaft the foremast a large house, which 
contains spacious galleys, several staterooms, store- 
rooms, an iceroom and shelters a staircase which leads 



THE JAMES BAINES 79 

to the decks below. She has a full poop deck, between 
7 and 8 feet high, under which is the cabin for female 
passengers and before it a large house which contains 
the dining saloon and other apartments. The outline 
of the poop and the house is protected by rails, on 
turned stanchions, and the enclosure forms a spacious 
and beautiful promenade deck. She has also a small 
house aft, which shelters the helmsman in a recess, 
protects the entrance to the captain's cabin, is also a 
smoking room for passengers and answers a variety of 
other purposes. 

"The captain's cabin and sleeping room are on the 
starboard side and communicate with the wheelhouse 
on deck, so that it will not be .necessary for him to 
enter the cabin set apart for female passengers . Besides 
these the cabin contains 11 spacious staterooms, a bath- 
room and other useful apartments . 

** The dining saloon is 35 feet long by 15 feet wide; 
the entrance to the deck from the saloon is 2j feet wide 
and extends across the house, with a door on each side, 
and opposite the midship door of the saloon is the pantry, 
which is spacious and fitted up in superior style. In 
the front of the saloon house are the staterooms of the 
first and second officers , and the windows of these rooms 
are of stained glass and have the ship's name in them. 
The staircase in the after part of the saloon leads to the 
main deck, where are the gentlemen's sleeping apart- 
ments, 24 in all, each stateroom having two berths. 
The deck before the gentlemen's sleeping cabin has 
three large ports for cargo opposite the hatchways, one 
on each side, and square ports suitable for staterooms 
along the sides. The lower decks are ventilated amid- 
i^hips with trunk skylights which pass through the 
house forward as well as the cabin and saloon aft. The 



80 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

height between each of the decks is 7 J feet. The ascent 
from the quarter-deck to the poop consists of two 
staircases, built into the front of the poop. She is 
very heavily sparred and will spread about 13,000 yards 
of canvas in a single suit of sails. Her mastheads 
and yards are black; the lower masts, from the truss 
bands to the fiferails, are bright and varnished, their 
hoops white and the tops and down to the truss band 
are also white. She has iron caps and is rigged in 
nearly the same style as the Champion of the Seas. 
Her bulwarks and houses are painted white and her 
waterways blue, and in this style she is also painted 
below." 

Captain McDonald left the Marco Polo in order to 
take charge of the James Baines, She sailed from 
Boston on 12th September, 1854, and the following is 
the log of her record run across the Atlantic : — 

Sept. 12 — At noon parted with steam boat and pilot. Wind, S.W., light. 
13— Lat. 42" 10' N., Long. 66" 33' W. Distance 225 miles. 

Light airs and calms, increasing in the evening to brisk 

winds and clear weather. 
14r— Lat. 40° 18' N., Long. 62° 45' W. Distance 238 miles. 

Light breezes and clear. 
15— Lat. 42" 26' N., Long. 59° 53' W. Distance 218 miles. Strong 

breezes at S.S.W. 
16— Lat. 43° 15' N., Long. 53° 9' W. Distance 305 miles. 

Strong gales from S.S.W. to N.W. 
17— Lat. 44° 54' N., Long. 48° 48' W. Distance 280 miles. 

Strong breezes from N.W. 4 a.m., passed several vessels 

fishing. 
18— Lat. 45° 42' N.. Long. 44° 16' W. Distance 198 miles. Light 

breezes and hazy weather. 10 a.m., brisk breezes and 

cloudy, wind west. 
19— Lat. 47° 22' N., Long. 36° 42' W. Distance 342 miles. 

Strong breezes and squally. 
:«— Lat. 48° 39' N., Long. 33° 12' W. Distance 200 miles. Light 

breezes and hazy. Variable. 
21— Lat. 49° 34' N., Long. 28° 38' W. Distance 230 miles. Light 

breezes and clear . Wind, S.W. 



THE JAMES BAINES 81 

22— Lat. 50° 12' N.. Long. 21° 00' W. Distance 291 miles. 

Brisk S.S.W. winds and cloudy weather. Passed several 

sail standing eastward. 
23— Lat. 50° 37' N., Long. 13° 39' W. Distance 337 miles. 

Strong breezes and cloudy weather Wind, S.W. 
24— Strong breezes and gloomy weather. At 6 a.m. made the 

land and at 8 a.m. passed Cork. Distance 296 miles. 

Passed Tuskar at 3 p.m., and Holyhead at 9 p.m. 
Time 12 days 6 hours from Boston Light to Rock Light. 

It will be seen that the James Baines had her share of 
light breezes, and Captain McDonald believed that he 
could have made the passage in eight days with strong 
winds. Running up Channel the wind was strong and 
fair and very squally, the vessel sometimes making 
20 knots an hour between points. 

At Liverpool the James Baines was fitted and furnished 
for passengers by Messrs. James H. Beal and brother. 
And her cabin fittings are described as being of ** almost 
lavish splendour," with innumerable pilasters and 
mirrors. 

I also note the following in a Liverpool account: — 
** Before the mainmast there are three gallows frames, 
upon which her spare boats are stowed, bottom up, and 
over the sides she carries quarter boats, suspended in 
iron davits. She has copper-chambered pumps, six 
capstans, a crab -winch on the foc's'le, a patent wind- 
lass. Crane's self-acting chain stoppers, a patent steer- 
ing apparatus and a large variety of other improvements 
of the most modern kind . ' ' 

Record Voyage of ** James Baines'* to Australia. 

The James Baines sailed for Melbourne on 9th 
December, 1854, and broke the record by arriving out 
in 63 days. Captain McDonald wrote the following 
account of the passage to his owners : — 

" I have great pleasure in announcing the arrival 



82 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

of the James Baines in Hobson's Bay at 8 p.m. on 12th 
February, making a run of 63 days 18 hours 15 minutes 
mean time from passing the Rock till the anchor was 
down in Hobson's Bay. On leaving Liverpool I had 
strong head winds to contend with. The 7th day from 
Liverpool I touched off St. Ives Head; the 10th day I 
had to tack off Cape St . Vincent and stood to the N .W . 
In 19° N. in the middle of the trade winds, I got the 
wind at S.S.E., got to leeward of Cape San Roque, and 
was 18 hours in beating round. I experienced nothing 
but light northerly winds all the way across. Sighted 
Cape Otway on the 54th day from Liverpool; main 
skysail off the ship only three days from Liverpool to 
this port. The greatest distance run in 24 hours was 
423 miles, that with main skysail and stunsails set. 
Had I only had the ordinary run of winds I would have 
made the voyage in 55 days . ' ' 

The James Baines took out 700 passengers (80 in the 
first class) 1400 tons of cargo and 350 sacks containing 
over 180,000 letters and newspapers. By her mail 
contract she was bound to deliver these in 65 days under 
penalty. Amongst her live stock were a bullock, 
75 sheep, 86 pigs, and 100 dozen of fowls and ducks. 

This passage of the James Baines showed her splendid 
capabilities both in light head winds and strong fair 
winds, for after a succession of light head winds she 
was reported in 3° N., 29° W., on the 29th December, 
only 19 days out, whilst in the boisterous gales of the 
roaring forties she made the following splendid 24 -hour 
runs in about a 23^ -hour day . 

Friday, Jan. 26— Lat. 48° 02' S., Long. 50° 46' E. Distance 391 miles. 
27— Lat. 48° 56' S., Long. 60° 46' E. ,. 407 ,. 

Feb. 6— Lat. 50° 09' S., Long. 123° 40' E. ,, 42« .. 

This magnificent run showed 10' difference of latitude 



THE BON ALB MACK AY 88 

and 10° 40' difference of longitude, her position at noon 
on 5th February being 50° 19' S., 113° E. 

Leaving Melbourne on the 12th March, 1855, the 
James Baines made the run home in 69 J days, having 
completed the voyage to Melbourne and back in 133 
days under sail. 

Black Ball captains were celebrated for their daring 
navigation and McDonald was no exception in this 
respect. His passengers declared that the James 
Baines was nearly ashore three times whilst tacking 
off the coast of Ireland under a heavy press of sail, 
and that when McDonald put her round off the Mizen- 
head the rocks were so close that a stone could have 
been thrown ashore from her decks. It was a lee shore, 
and if she had missed stays she must have been lost. 
But as McDonald said, when remonstrated with for 
taking such risks, it was a case of •' we have to make a 
good passage . ' * 

The ** Donald Mackay." 

The Bonald Mackay, last of the famous Mackay 
quartette, was for many years the largest sailing ship 
in the world, her measurements being: — 



Registered tonnage . . 

Gross 

Net ,, .... 

Length of keel 

Length between perpendiculars 

Breadth 

Depth 

Dead rise at half-floor 

Mainyard 

Sail area 



2408 tons. 

2486 „ 

1616 „ 

257.9 feet. 

266 

46.3 

29.5 

18 inches. 

100 feet. 

17,000 yds. 



A novelty in her sail plan was Forbes' patent double 
topsail yards. These came out before Howe's, and 



84 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

differed from them in having the topmasts fidded abaft 
the lower masts . 

Donald Mackay was said to have the heaviest main- 
mast out of Liverpool. It was a built mast of pitch- 
pine, heavily banded with iron, weighing close on 
20 tons. She was, of course, a three-decker; and as 
a figure-head she had a Highlander dressed in the 
tartan of the Mackay s. in design she took after the 
Champion of the Seas, being not so sharp -ended as the 
Lightning or James Baines, Captain Warner left the 
Sovereign of the Seas to take her, and superintended her 
fitting out. 

Leaving Boston on 21st February, 1855, she made 
Cape Clear only 12 days out. On 27th February her 
log records: — *' First part a strong gale from N.W.; 
middle part blowing a hurricane from W.N.W., ship 
scudding under topsails and foresail at the rate of 18 
knots; latter part still blowing from W.N.W. with 
heavy hail squalls and very high sea running. ' ' 

Under these conditions she made a run of 421 miles 
in the 24 hours. She made the Fastnet Rock on 6th 
March, distant one mile, it blowing a gale from S.E. to 
E.N.E., her run for the day being 299 miles. But in 
he Channel her passage was spoilt by strong easterly 
winds, and she did not receive her pilot off Point Lynas 
until Saturday, the 10th. 

Donald Mackay himself came over in the ship, and on 
his arrival expressed himself highly satisfied with her. 
She was at once put on the berth, for Melbourne, but 
did not leave Liverpool until 6th June, and thus had a 
light weather passage south, being spoken on 14th July 
in 12° S., 88 days out. She arrived in Port Phillip on 
26th August, 81 days out. She left Melbourne again 
on 3rd October, arriving in Liverpool on 28th December, 



BLVE JACKET 85 

1855, 86 days out, and bringing 104,000 ounces of gold 
consigned to the Bank of France . 

Donald Mackay's times on the Australian run, though 
never very remarkable, were very consistent, her 
average for six consecutive outward passages being 88 
days. And I find her making a passage out to Hobson's 
Bay in 1867 in 84 days. She once took 1000 troops 
from Portsmouth to Mauritius in 70 days. 

*»BIue Jacket,*' ** White Star" and *'Shalimar." 

Three other magnificent ships were built on the 
other side of the Atlantic for the Liverpool -Melbourne 
emigrant trade in 1854. These were the Blue Jacket, 
White Star and Shalimar, 

The Blue Jacket came from the well-known yard of 
R. E. Jackson in East Boston, the other two ships being 
Nova Scotian built. The Blue Jacket arrived in the 
Mersey on 20th October, 1854, having made the run 
from Boston, land to land, in 12 days 10 hours; the 
Shalimar arrived about the same time, and the White 
Star reached Liverpool on 1st December, 15 days out 
from St. John's in spite of strong head winds. She was 
timber laden and drawing 22 J feet of water. The Blue 
Jacket on her arrival was bought by James John Frast, 
of London, and put on the berth for Melbourne as one 
of the Fox Line of packets, the other two being owned 
by the White Star Line. 

In looking at old pictures and prints of these American 
built ships, several points in their construction seem to 
have been common to all, such as the semi -elliptical 
stern, the bowsprit built into the sheer, the large wheel- 
house aft, etc.; their figure-heads, also, were generally 
most elaborate full-length figures and did not grow out 
of the bow in the graceful way of the British -built, but 



. . 205 feet. 


.. 220 „ 


. . 235 .. 


.. 41.6 ., 


..24 ,. 


.. 1790 tons 



86 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

seemed to be plastered upon it. And from Marco Polo 
to Donald Mackay, these soft-wood clippers had more 
the appearance of strength and power than of grace and 
beauty, though the famous Red Jacket was an exception, 
being an extremely taking ship to the eye . 

Blue Jacket, however, was of the powerful type, and 
extremely like the Mackay ships in appearance. She 
was designed to stow a large cargo, having a full mid- 
ship section, but her bow was long and sharp enough. 

Her chief measurements were : — 

Length of keel 

Length between perpendiculars 

Length over all 

Beam . . 

Depth of hold 

Registered tonnage . . 

Her poop was 80 feet long and 7 feet high, and she 
had 8 feet of height between decks. She had the usual 
accommodation arrangements, two points only being 
perhaps worth noting; the first was a line of plate glass 
portholes running the length of her 'tween decks, and 
the second was an iron water tank to hold 7000 gallons. 

Blue Jacket sailed for Melbourne on 6th March, 1855, 
in charge of Captain Underwood, and made a magnificent 
run out of 69 days. She further distinguished herself 
at a later date by making the homeward run in 69 days. 

Shalimar, the smallest ship of the three, measured 
1557 tons register ; 195.8 feet length ; 35.2 feet beam ; 
and 23 feet depth. She sailed for Hobson's Ray on 
23rd November, 1854, was off Cape Northumberland in 
67 days, but owing to head winds took another 10 days 
to reach her port. She came home in 75 days, her 
whole voyage, including 45 days in port, only occupying 
6 months and 14 days. The newspaper report of her 
passage out states that she ran 420 miles in the 24 hours 



WHITE STAR 



87 



on one occasion, though unfortunately it gives no 
particulars. 

The most celebrated of these three ships was the 
White Star, which had the distinction of being the largest 
clipper built by Wright , of New Brunswick , her measure- 
ments being: — 



Registered tonnage 
Length over all 
Length of keel . . 
Beam . . 
Depth . . 



2339 tons 

288 feet 

213.3 .. 

44 

28 1 .. 



The White Star soon proved herself to be one of the 
fastest ships afloat. On her first voyage she did nothing 
out of the way, being 79 days out and 88 days home. 
But in 1856 she went out in 75 days (67 days land to 
land), and came home in 76 days, beating the auxiliary 
Royal Charter by 10 days from port to port. In 1858, 
she went out in 72 days, this being the best White Star 
passage of the year; whilst on 25th February, 1860, she 
left Melbourne and made her number off Cape Clear in 
65 days. In 1860 she went out in 69 days, running 
3306 miles in 10 days between the Cape and Melbourne. 



The Wreck of the **Schomberg." 

We now come to the unfortunate Schombergy the 
only wooden ship ever built in a British yard that 
could in any way compare with the big Boston and 
Nova Scotian built ships in size. 

In 1854, James Baines was so impressed by the 
success of the little Aberdeen tea clippers, that he 
gave Hall an order for a monster emigrant clipper of 
2600 tons. Unfortunately, Hall had had no experience 
in the building of emigrant ships and the Schomherg 
was more of a copy of Mackay's clippers than Hall's own 



88 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

beautiful little ships. The Schomberg cost when ready 
for sea £43,103 or £18 17s. 6d. per ton. She measured :— 



Tonnage (builder's measurement) 


2600 tons 


(for payment of dues) 


2492 „ 


(registered) 


2284 „ 


Length over all 


288 


Length between perpendiculars 


262 .. 


Beam . . 


45 


Depth of hold 


29.2 „ 



She had three skins, two of diagonal planking, and 
one fore and aft, the whole fastened together with screw - 
threaded hard -wood trunnels — a novelty in shipbuilding. 
She was specially heavily rigged, her mainmast 
weighing 15 tons, being a pitch-pine spar 110 feet in 
length and 42 inches in diameter. Her mainyard was 
110 feet long. She crossed three skysail yards, but 
no moonsail . 

Captain Forbes, as commodore of the Black Ball, 
was shifted into her from the Lightning y and great hopes 
were entertained that she would lower the record to 
Australia . 

On 6th October, 1855, she was hauled through the 
pier heads amidst the cheers of a patriotic crowd of 
sightseers, with the boast of "Sixty days to Mel- 
bourne" flying from her signal halliards. The passage 
was one of light and moderate winds. Schomberg was 
28 days to the line and 55 days to the Greenwich meri- 
dian. Running her easting down she averaged 6 degrees 
daily to 130° E., her greatest speed being 15 J knots and 
her best run 368 miles. She made the land off Cape 
Bridgewater at 1 p.m. on Xmas day, the wind being 
fresh atE.S.E. On 27th December after two days' 
tacking, with the wind still blowing fresh from ahead, 
Forbes went about at noon when 4 miles off shore and 
tacked out; at 6 p.m. he tacked in again. At about 



WRECK OF SCHOMBERG 89 

10.30 p.m., the land being faintly visible, the wind 
gradually died away. It was a moonlight night. 
Forbes was playing cards in the saloon when the mate 
came down and reported that the ship was getting 
rather close in under the land and suggested going 
about. As luck would have it, Forbes was losing and, 
being a bit out of temper, insisted on playing another 
rubber of whist before tacking ship, and the danger 
point had been overstripped when at 11 o'clock he 
came on deck and gave the order to 'bout ship. 

As there was next to no wind and a current running 
3 to 4 knots to the westward, the Schomberg refused to 
come round. Forbes next tried to wear her, with the 
result that the ship slid up on to a sandbank 35 miles 
west of Cape Otway. On sounding round the ship 
it was found that she was stuck fast in 4 fathoms of 
water. Sail was kept on her in the hopes of it pulling 
her off into deep water again . 

Forbes, on being told that the ship was hard aground, 
said angrily: — *'Let her go to Hell, and tell me when 
she is on the beach," and at once went below. 

Henry Cooper Keen, the mate, then took charge, and 
finding that the Schomberg was only being hove further 
in by the swell and current, clewed up all sail, let go 
the starboard anchor and lowered the boats. And it 
was subsequently proved at the inquiry afterwards 
that it was chiefly due to the chief officer and a first 
class passenger, a civil engineer of Belfast named Millar, 
that all the passengers were safely disembarked and 
put aboard the steamer Queen, which hove in sight on 
the following morning. 

All efforts to save the ship failed and she presently 
went to pieces. Forbes at the inquiry was acquitted 
of all blame for the stranding, the sandbank being 



90 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



uncharted, but at a mass meeting of his passengers 
in the Mechanics' Institute, Melbourne, he was very 
severely censured. Many of them declared that he 
was so disgusted with the slowness of the passage that 
he let the ship go ashore on purpose . Others complained 
of his tyranny during the voyage and even made worse 
allegations against his morality and that of the ship's 
doctor; altogether the affair was a pretty scandal and 
Forbes never obtained another command in the Black 
Ball Line. 

The Best Outward Passages — Liverpool to 
Melbourne, 1854-5. 



Ship. 


Captain. 


Date Left. 


Date 

Arrived. 


Days. 
Out. 






1854 








Red Jacket 


Sam Reid 


May 4 


July 


12 


67 


Mermaid 


Devy 


3 




17 


74 


Miles Barton . . 


Kelly 


4 


,, 


22 


78 


Lightning 


J. N. Forbes 


,. 14 


,, 


31 


76 


Marco Polo 


Wild 


July 22 


Oct. 


25 


95 


Arabian 


Bannatyne 


Aug. 19 


Nov. 


13 


86 


Morning Star . . 


— 


Sept. 6 


,, 


20 


75 


Champion of the Seas . . 


Newlands 


Oct. 11 


Dec. 22 
1 fi^f^ 


72 


Indian Queen . . 


McKirdie 


Nov. 12 


Jan. 


31 


80 


Shalimar 


Robertson 


„ 23 


Feb. 


7 


76 


James Baines . . 


McDonald 


Dec. 10 
1855 


Feb. 


12 


64 


Lightning 


A. Enright 


Jan. 6 


Mar. 


20 


73 


Blue Jacket 


Underwood 


Mar. 6 


May 


13 


69 


Marco Polo 


Clarke 


April 6 


June 


26 


82 


White Star 


Kerr 


.. 30 


July 


18 


79 


Oliver Lang 


Manning 


May 5 




31 


87 


Arabian 


Bannatyne 


.. 21 


Aug. 


13 


84 


Donald Mackay 


Warner 


June 6 


,, 


26 


81 


Champion of the Seas . . 


McKirdy 


July 5 


Sept. 


26 


83 


Shalimar 


Robertson 


.. 20 


Oct. 


16 


88 


James Baines . . 


McDonald 


Aug. 5 


,, 


23 


79 


Emma . , 


— 


.. 21 


Nov. 


17 


88 


Lightning 


A. Enright 


Sept. 6 


,, 


25 


81 


Red Jacket 


Mil ward 


,. 20 


Dec. 


4 


75 


Invincible 


— 


.. 30 


" 


18 


79 



CAPTAIN ENRIGHT AND LIGHTNING 91 

1855-1857— Captain Anthony Enright and the 
'* Lightning." 

When Forbes was given the Schomherg, James 
Baines offered the command of the Lightning to Captain 
Anthony Enright, who had earned a great reputation 
as a passage maker in the tea clipper Chrysolite. At 
the same time the White Star Line asked Enright to 
take over the Red Jacket^ and it was only after consider- 
able deliberation that he decided to take the Lightning, 
first demanding a salary of £1000 a year. The Black 
Ball Line replied that it was a great deal more than they 
had ever previously given to their captains, but even- 
tually they agreed to his terms rather than lose such 
a good man . 

Captain Enright had the Lightning for four voyages, 
from January, 1855, to August, 1857, and proved 
himself perhaps the most popular and successful captain 
under the famous house-flag; indeed, under him the 
Lightning became a very favourite ship with passengers. 

Enright was a very religious man, a Puritan of the 
old type yet no bigot; a stern disciplinarian, the men 
before the mast knew that he was sure to give them a 
square deal, impartial and just, and fair treatment for 
good service, and for that reason never gave him trouble, 
whilst in controlling his passengers and keeping a happy 
ship in spite of the trials of such long passages and 
crowded quarters, he showed the most wonderful tact 
and gift for ruling men. This gift of tact was perhaps 
more desirable in the captain of an emigrant ship than 
in any other walk of life, especially in the days of the 
gold rush when the emigrants represented every nation- 
ality, every creed, every class and every trade ; and the 
Lightning, under Enright, was as good an example of 



92 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

the best-run first-class emigrant ships as can be found. 
I therefore intend to give as good a picture of life 
aboard the Lightning during 1855-7 as I possibly can 
with the material at my command. 

Captain Enright's Regulations. 

First of all I will give a list of Enright's regula- 
tions for preserving order amongst his passengers, which 
were always posted up in prominent places about the 
ship. 

RULES OF THE LIGHTNING. 

1st. No smoking or naked light allowed below. 

2nd. All lights, except the hatchway lights, to be put out by 10 p.m. 

3rd. No Congreve matches to be used in the berths or on the lower 
deck. 

4th. Cleanliness and decorum to be strictly observed at all times. 

6th. Every place below to be well cleaned every day after breakfast, 
for the inspection of the surgeon and chief officer. 

6th. All bedding to be on deck twice a week. 

7th. The 'tween deck passengers to appoint constables to preserve 
order and see these rules are strictly observed. 

8th. The constables are to keep watch in their respective compart- 
ments for their own safety and that of their families ; trim the lamps | 
report all misdemeanours, for which they will receive a glass of grog or 
a cup of coffee every morning. 

9th. Second cabin passengers are not allowed on the windward side 
of the vessel ; but can promenade at all hours on the leeward side. 

10th. Passengers must not upon any account open the 'tween deck 
ports without my express permission : a violation of this rule may be 
attended with serious consequences, and will, in any case, be severely 
punished. 

11th. Dancing and promenading on the poop from 7 till 9 p.m., when 
all passengers may enjoy themselves, but not abaft the mizen mast. 
The promenaders are not in any way to interrupt the dancers, but will 
be expected to promenade in parts of the poop where dancing is not 
being carried on. 

12th. On account of the overcrowded state of the poop and to 
satisfy all parties, third class passengers are only allowed on the quarter- 
deck from 7 till 9 in the evening. 



THE LIGHTNING 98 

13th. The use of the private staircase (into the saloon) ts strictly 
prohibited after 1 1 at night, 

14th. No person allowed to speak to the officers of the watcd whilst 
on duty : nor co any of the quartermasters, whilst at the wheel 

15th. All parties not complying with these rules will be liable to 
have a part of their provisions deducted as a punishment, as the 
commander and officers may think fit 

Anthony Enright Commandet 



The Passengers on the ** Lightning.'* 

Perhaps a few details regarding the number and 
kind of passengers, for which these rules were framed, 
may now be of interest . 

In 1855 the Lightning took out 47 saloon, 53 second 
cabin, 20 intermediate and 253 steerage passengers, 
her crew numbering 87 ; total of souls on board — 495. 

In 1856 her purser gave the following details of the 
outward bound passengers : — 



Saloon— Adults 39 i child 


ren 12: 


.. Total 


51 


'Tween deck— Married adults male 




42 


„ 


female 




59 


Single 


. male 




184 


.. 


, female 




33 




children 




47 




infants 




7 




crew 




89 



Number of souls on board 504 

On the homeward passage the numbers were naturally 
very much less, and women were not so numerous. 

In 1855 the Lightning brought home 51 saloon, 123 
second cabin and 80 intermediate ; total — 254. On her 
second voyage that year, owing to the accident to her 
false bow when outward bound, she could only muster 
80 passengers. 



94 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

In 1856 her homeward bound passengers consisted of — 



Saloon— Adults 31 ; children 3 ; . . Total 34 


'Tween decks— Married adults male 


. 10 


,, 


,, female 


. 10 


Single 


, male 


. 114 


*» 


,, female 


1 




children . . 


6 




Infants . . 


4 




crew 


. 77 




Total all told 


. 256 



All Europe sailed from Liverpool to the Australian 
goldfields, so that all nationalities were to be found 
in a Black Bailer's foc's'le. 

I find the following account in the Lightning Gazette, 
the newspaper published on board, of 1855: — "Here 
in the steerage we find there are many nations, including 
Jews, Germans and French; the largest number, however, 
being English with a few Irish and Scots. Here are all 
ages and not all, but many, trades and occupations. 
Here are some more or less successful diggers, who had 
returned to their native land to gratify a feeling of 
love and affection; or it may be vanity; and who are 
now returning to settle in the land of promise." 

The homeward bound passengers were just as mixed 

if only half as numerous — thus the Gazette when 

homeward bound in 1856: — 

The passengers generally are a very mixed community, English 
and French, American and German, Italian and Pole, young and old, 
merry and sad, the open-hearted and the reserved, the enterprising 
merchant and the adventurous gold digger, artizan and mechanic, 
soldier and sailor, prosperous husbands returning to escort their wives 
and families to the Colony, and the disappointed man, cheered alone by 
the magic influence of once again beholding home. 

And under the heading of **The Gent Afloat," T 
find a very amusing description of the adventurer of 
the times aboard ship, and though it is rather long, 



THE GENT AFLOAT 95 

it is such a vivid little study of a type of character » 
only too common in the snobbish mid Victorian era, 
that I cannot resist giving it in full. 

The Gent Afloat. 

*'This class of individual is to be found in great 
abundance in every clipper ship community. He is 
easily known, more easily detected. He is a man of 
vast importance when first h.e steps aboard ; makes 
no advances; keeps aloof; is evidently selecting, with 
great caution, those with whom he dare associate 
without compromising his connections. After a little 
time, however, he — with a condescending grace, which 
cannot be too highly extolled — relaxes slightly his 
vigorous demeanour, and smiles upon the very young 
men of known good family (of course), occasionally 
honours them with his arm and promenades the deck 
for half an hour — is very careful during the peregrina- 
tion to recount his latest adventures at home — the 
parting dinners Captain Allalie and Colonel Gammon 
would insist on giving him; the ballet dancer, who 
forsook an Earl for his advances and embraces; the 
prima donna who would insist on rehearsing her role 
before him as she entertained so high an opinion of his 
musical criticism and abilities. The borough he 
might have gone in for at the last election, with the 
Duke of Sarum's interest, but that his own family 
objected on the score of difference in political opinions, 
and the positive certainty that in a few years his great 
talents and eloquence must command the most in- 
dependent seat in the House. 

'*He is of an average height and features, with the 
exception of a protruding chin, which gives to the 
mouth a horrible grin ; an eyeglass of course ; luxuriant 



96 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

hair and whiskers, redolent ot macassar. He apes the 
gait of a military man; wears a frock coat terribly 
inclined to the third and fourth letters of the alphabet; 
a waistcoat of the most approved and fashionable cut; 
trowsers of the loudest plaid style about two to the pair, 
with very ragged bottoms and straps, the latter article 
proving a very useful adjunct when the supply of socks 
falls short; a shirt with miniature cartoons after 
Raphael or a correct likeness of the last murderer and 
the last ballet dancer printed upon it ; a necktie of 
the striking stripe pattern, to make him smart. His 
whole appearance is indicative of a worn-out Stultz. 
His hands are covered with a variety of rings, from 
the enamelled and delicately wrought diamond to the 
massive and substantial signet bearing his crest. An 
immense watch chain (bearing a striking resemblance 
to the ship's cable) with an abundance of charms 
attached completes the tout ensemble of the outer man. 
His wardrobe is somewhat limited — but this he accounts 
for by — 'D — n those agents, the rascals have put my 
trunks marked ** wanted on the voyage** in the hold, 
and left out those *'not wanted," isn't it annoying? 
Could you lend me a few shirts until they're got at? * 
He is decidedly great at the borrowing dodge. Of 
course his cigars, tobacco and all the little comforts 
for the journey are in his trunks in the hold. But the 
way he solicits a loan of the required articles is irresis- 
tible. His natural grace (or impudence, we don't know 
which) defies refusal. But at last even that — as all 
things good or bad will — palls and borrowing becomes 
a more difficult art. Friends shirk him, acquaintances 
avoid him, and long before the end of the journey 'the 
Gent Afloat' is known and scouted as a penniless, 
reckless adventurer void alike of honour or honesty.'? 



SHIPS' NEWSPAPERS 97 

Shipboard Newspapers. 

This account of an adventurer of the fifties came 
out of the Lightning Gazette ^ a paper published weekly 
aboard the ship. 

Realising the importance of keeping such a mixed 
collection of passengers amused Messrs. James Raines 
put a printing press aboard each of their ships and thus 
the issue of the shipboard newspaper was something 
always to be eagerly looked forward to on Saturdays. 
In many an English and Australian home there are no 
doubt still to be found treasured, stained and tattered, 
copies of these ships' newspapers. I have myself 
handled volumes of the Lightning Gazette, the Eagle 
Herald, the Royal Charter Times and coming down to 
more modern days, the Loch Torridon Journal and 
other Loch Line papers. 

The printer of these ship newspapers was usually 
a paid member of the crew, but the editor and sub- 
editor were elected by the passengers, the captain, 
of course, acting not only as a frequent contributor 
but also as a censor — no matter of a controversial 
sort either religious, political or otherwise being ever 
allowed to appear in the news sheet of Captain 
Enright's ship. 

The Ship's Notice Board. 

The ship*s official newspaper sometimes had to 
contend against rival productions, promoted by private 
enterprise, but its chief rival was the ship's notice 
board, which was a stout one, being no less than the 
mainmast. 

Here are a few notices, gathered haphazard from the 
Lightning 's mainmast . 

E 



98 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

CLOTHING SOLD BY THE PURSER 

Cigars, 2d. each I per hundred £0 12 

Do. Havannah . . . . . . . . each 4 

Canvas trowsers .. .. .. .. .. 036 

Kersey drawers .. .. .. .. .. 036 

Mits .. 010 

Oilskin trowsers . . . . . . . . . . 5 6 

Oilskin coats .. .. .. .. .. 076 

Pilot cloth coats 050 

Pilot cloth trowsers 0120 

Blue serge shirts .. -.. .. .. .. 050 

Regatta shirts (printed fronts) . . . . . . 3 6 

Black alpaca coats .. .. .. .. .. 0120 

Felt hats 030 

Sou'westers .. .. .. .. .. .. 020 

Black glazed hats 040 

Guernsey frocks .. .. .. .. .. 080 

Scotch caps 020 

Knives 16 

Apply to C. T. Rennv, Purser. 

RAFFLES. 
To be raffled for — 
On Thursday next, June 7, at 2 o'clock, 
A Splendid Model of the Lightning, 
By 40 members, at 5/- each. 
Application for shares to be made at the printing office. 

HEALTH OFFICE 
WANTED. 

Swabbers to assist at the force pump and relieve two saloon 
passengers, who work with indefatigable zeal. 

Application to be made to Dr. Colquhoun and Mr. Winter at 6 a.m. 
any morning. 

The above is capital exercise, strongly recommended. 

WANTED. 
A washerwoman — one accustomed to get up gentlemen's linen 
preferred. Apply to Mr. Neck, Chief Steward. 

FOR SALE. 
Opossum Rugs. Apply to Mr. Fysh, second cabin tween decks. 

FOUND. 
By the Boatswain of this ship, a coat with a pair of pincers in the 
pocket. The owner can have the same by paying expenses. 



LIGHTNING'S NOTICE BOARD 99 

AUCTION. 
On Wednesday next, at 2 p.m., a Public Auction will be held on the 
poop, when a large and well selected assortment of merchandise will 
be submitted to public competition by — 

Charles Robin, Auctioneer. 
Auctioneer's Address — No. 5 After Saloon Stateroom. 

Riddles and Epigrams , so numerous in the Gazette, 
were not, however, to be found on the ship's notice 
board. The riddles are mostly very feeble, many of 
them making great play with the ship's name, thus: — 

Why is the Commander of our ship like the electric wire .' Ans. — 
Because he is a Lightning conductor. 

But there is a rather more interesting one of the 

times : — 

Why is a scolding wife like Americaii steamers ? Ans. — Because 
she is fond of blowing up. 

The epigrams are better, as follows: — 

Upou seeing a lady filling a gentleman's pipe on board the Lightmng — 

" I would that ladies' hands might find 

Something worthier to stuff 
Nor give to those who are inclined 

An opportunity to puff " 

and — 

Upon seeing a young lady printing the Lightning Gazette : — 

" An angel form in earthly mould 

Upon my ink has shed a blessing, 
And manly hearts to others cold 

Cannot resist when she is pressing." 

The Ship's Band and Concerts, etc. 

Perhaps the most important method of keeping 
an emigrant ship's passengers amused was by means 
of the ship's band, especially in those days when 
dancing was so popular, that even in bad weather the 
poops of these ships were always crowded with dancers 
every evening. 



100 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Of course the bands provided were not quite on a 
par with those of present day leviathans crossing the 
Atlantic; the Lightning, for instance, rejoiced in the 
good old-fashioned German band, which used to be 
such an institution in the London streets and is now 
practically extinct. This band consisted of six 
musicians, and besides playing selections and accom- 
paniments at the concerts, supplied the music for the 
daily dancing. 

In those days the polka was the great dance, the 
valse had not yet come into fashion and was not very 
well known, and instead of the romping lancers the 
stately quadrille was the order of the day . 

I find a set of instructions showing a sailor how to 
dance a quadrille in one of the numbers of the Lightning 
Gazette, It is rather too long to quote, but the following 
figure shows the gist of it: — ** Heave ahead and pass 
your adversary yardarm to yardarm: regain your 
berth on the other tack in the same order: take your 
station in a line with your partner, back and fill, face 
on your heel and bring up with your partner : she then 
manoeuvres ahead and heaves all aback, fills and shoots 
ahead again and pays off alongside: you then make 
sail in company until stern on with the other 
line: make a stern board and cast her off to shift for 
herself: regain your berth by the best means possible 
and let go your anchor." 

Looking over the old concert programmes, I find 
that negro melodies (now called coon songs) were even 
then very popular, amongst which figured ** Nelly 
Bligh," **Foor Old Joe," **Stop dat Knockin'," 
**0h ! Carry Me Back" and others. The rest of 
the programmes were generally filled up with the old 
familiar Scots and Irish folk-songs, some well-known 



CONCERT PROGRAMMf'^ lOl 

English choruses, the usual sentimentg^l'dMy^ id:fii' 
amongst the sailor songs I find **A Life on the 
Ocean Wave , " * * Cheer , Boys , Cheer , " * * I'm Afloat , ' ' 
**The Pride of the Ocean" and ** The Death of 
Nelson.'! Concerts were generally pretty numerous 
during a passage. As a rule each class had its own; 
then, to end up, a ** Grand Monster Concert" was 
organised, in which the talents of saloon, house on 
deck, and steerage were pitted against one another. 

Other diversions of this kind were plays of the class 
of **Bombastes Furioso"; mock trials, with the in- 
variable verdict of guilty on the wretched culprit and 
the sentence of ** champagne all round," and of course 
debating, choral and other societies. 

Then there were the usual high jinks crossing the 
line; and such occasions as the Queen's Birthday, 
the '* Captain's Wedding Day," etc., were celebrated 
by ** a cold collation of the most sumptuous order" 
in the saloon and many speeches. 

A Bill of Fare on the ** Lightning." 

In the first cabin the living on these big clippers 
seems to have been uncommonly good for such a length 
of time at sea. Here is the dinner menu of 14th 
January, 1855, on the Lightnings when a week out from 
Liverpool. 

BILL OF FARE. 
Soups — Vermicelli and macaroni. 
Fish — Cod and oyster sauce. 
Meats — Roast beef, boeuf a la mode, boiled mutton, roast veal. 

boiled turkey and oyster sauce, roast goose, roast fowl, 

boiled fowl, minced escallops, veal and ham pie. haricot 

mutton, ham. 
Sweets — Plum pudding, rice pudding, roll pudding, tarts, orange 

fritters, small pastry. 
Dessert — Oranges, almonds, Barcelona raisins, figs, etc. 
Wines — Champagne, sparkling hock. 



102 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Sti Valentine's Day. 

Captain Enright was very fertile in raising a new 

amusement directly his passengers began to show signs 

of boredom. His favourite dodge was to appoint a 

St. Valentine's Day, when a letter box was placed in 

front of the poop and twice during the day the darkey 

steward, Richard, who was evidently a great character, 

came round and delivered the Valentines as postman. 

He was always dressed up for the occasion in some 

extraordinarily fantastic costume of his own invention — • 

and his antics and fun, quite as much as the contents 

of his postbag, kept the ship in roars of laughter and 

most successfully dissipated all signs of boredom and 

discontent. Here is one account of his doings: — 

Richard, the coloured steward, made a first-rate walker, dressed 
in the tip-top style of St. Martins-le-Grand, with gold-laced hat, yellow 
collar and cuffs to his coat and white tops to his boots : he acted the 
part of Cupid's messenger to admiration and drew down thunders of 
applause There was a second delivery in the afternoon on the poop, 
when Richard again made his appearance dressed in full general's 
uniform, 

And it goes on to say : — 

The Valentines, which were very numerous, contained the usual 
amount of bitters and sweet, flattering verses and lovers' vows j some 
amusing hits at marked propensities and a few rather broad hints at 
infirmities and habits were all taken in good part and the day passed 
off most pleasantly. 

And here is one of the Valentines which Captain 
Enright received: — 

Captain Go-ahead Enright, Al, 
Ship " Flash of Lightning," 
who never cracks on, and is supposed to have 
at no time seen a moonsail. 
It is currently reported that he lays to 
and turns in when it blows a gale. 
N.B. — No certain address, but always to be found 
ON DUTY. 



AMUSEMENTS 108 

Other Amusements at Sea. 

During the time of the Crimea, if there happened 
to be a soldier or two aboard , a corps of volunteers was 
raised and drilled daily. A parade in bad weather was 
a great source of amusement to the onlookers, if not so 
pleasant for the performers. 

In the fine weather deck games such as quoits, shovel 
board and deck billiards were as popular as they are 
nowadays, but T find no mention of sports, cock-fighting 
or ship cricket. 

Below draughts, whist, chess, backgammon and 
dominoes all had many devotees ; and on the homeward 
passage nap, poker, blackjack, eucre and other gambling 
games robbed many a returning, digger of his pile and 
sometimes led to such trouble that the captain had 
to interfere . 

Under captains of Enright's stamp, there was very 
little disorder and the sailing ships seem to have carried 
a much happier crowd than the auxiliary steamers. 

The ill-fated Royal Charter'' s passage home in the 
summer of 1856 presents an example of a badly run and 
disciplined ship. The food was bad, everyone had a 
growl about something, drunken riots occurred con- 
stantly, fighting in which even the crew and stewards 
took a part was of almost daily occurrence, and ex- 
cessive gambling ruined scores of returning diggers on 
the lower deck. I am glad to say that 1 can find no 
such instance of disorder and lack of discipline amongst 
the ships which relied upon sail power alone. 

Best Homeward Passages, 1855-56. 

The honours for the year 1855 were, however, taken 
by the Duthie built Aberdeen clipper Ballarat, 713 tons, 
owned by Duncan Dunbar, which went out to Sydney 



104 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



in under 70 days , and came home Melbourne to Liverpool 
in 69 days with 110,000 ounces on board. The Ocean 
Chiefs Captain Tobin, was a Black Bailer on her second 
\royage. On her previous passage home in the autumn 
of 1854 she made the run in 86 days, during which she 
was embayed by ice for three days in the Southern 
Ocean, had the unusual experience of being becalmed 
for three days off the Horn and finally had N.E. winds 
from 18° N. to soundings. 



1 

Ship. 


Port from 


Date Left 


Gold on 
Board 


Date 
Arrived 


D'ys 
Out. 






1865 




1855 




Oliver Lang 




Sydney 


Jan. 


3 




Mar. 20 


76 


James Baines . 


_ 


Melbourne 


Mar. 


11 


40.000 oz. 


May 20 


69 


Indian Queen 




Hobart 


,, 


17 




June 5 


78 


Shalimar . . 




Melbourne 




24 


42,000 oz. 


.. 5 


75 


Lightning . . 




,, 


Apl. 


11 


69.000 oz. 


„ 29 


79 


Ocean Chief 




Sydney 


June 


3 




Aug. 26 


84 


Marco Polo 


• 


Melbourne 


July 


26 


125.000 oz. 


Oct. 20 


86 


White Star 


• 


.. 


Aug. 


31 


80.000 oz. 


Nov. 27 


88 


Donald Mackay 




Oct. 


3 




Dec. 28 
1856 


86 


Champion of the Sea 


,. 


., 


27 




Jan. 25 


90 


Lightning . . 


.. 


Dec. 27 


12.000 oz. 


Mar. 23 


86 


Red Jacket 


■' 


1 ou 

Jan 


12 




Apl. 8 


86 



The Oliver Lang, 1236 tons, was called after her 
designer, being a British built ship from the famous 
Deptford yard. 

Best Outward Passages 1855-56, Liverpool to 
Melbourne. 

I have failed to point out before that the Black 
Bailers always sailed on the 5th of the month from 
Liverpool, and the White Star on the 20th; it thus 
becomes an easy matter to pick out the ships of the 
rival lines. 

At such a time it is only natural to find Golden a 



JAMES BAINES OVERDUh; 



105 



favourite part of a ship's name. Golden Era, Golden 
City, Golden Eagle, Golden Light, Golden State, Golden 
West, Golden Age, and Golden Gate were all down-east 
clippers, built for the Californian gold rush. 



Ship 


Date Left 


Date 
Arrived 


Days Out. 


Ocean Chief . . 
Mermaid 

Oliver Lang . . 
Champion of the Seas 
James Baines 
Mindoro 
Lightning 

Red Jacket 

Golden Era . . 
Morning Light 
Mermaid 
Ocean Chief . . 

White Star 

Marco Polo . . 


1855 
Dec. 7 

21 
1856 
Jan. 7 
March 8 
April 7 
,. 22 
May 6 

20 
June 20^ 
July 6 

22 
Aug. 5 

21 
Sept. 5 


1856 
Jan. 25 
Feb. 10 

April 3 

June 1 

24 

July 13 

u 

Aug. 13 
Sept. 9 

17 
Oct. 17 

19 
Nov. 5 
Dec, 2 


80 

82 

87 

85 .. 

78 

82 

69 

85 

81 

73 

87 

75 

76 

89 



The Morning Light was a monster New Brunswick 
built ship, registering 2377 tons. She was on her first 
voyage and must not be confused with the American 
clipper of that name, owned by Glidden & Williams, ot 
Boston, and built by Toby & Littlefield, of Portsmouth, 
N .H . , a ship of half her size . 

The ** James Baines" Overdue! 

In the autumn of 1856 there was tremendous 
sensation in Liverpool, when the famous James Baines, 
considered by many to be the fastest ship in the world, 
was posted as overdue when homeward bound. All 
sorts of rumours spread like wildfire, and as the weeks 
went by and no definite information was obtained from 
incoming ships, something like consternation began 
to reign in shipping circles. 



106 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The James Baines sailed from Melbourne at 1 p.m. 
on 7th August, 1856, passing through the Heads the 
following morning. On the 9th she made her best run, 
356 miles, royals and sky sails being set part of the 
time, the wind fair but squally. She made one more 
good run, of 340 miles, and then was held up by light 
airs and calms all the way to the Horn; here she en- 
countered heavy gales, snowstorms and high cross 
seas. She was 36 days to the pitch of the Horn; then 
from 26th September to 8th November another spell of 
light and baffling winds delayed her passage, and she 
was 65 days from Port Phillip to the line. 

On the 30th October, her great rival the Lightnings 
which had sailed from Melbourne just three weeks behind 
her, hove in sight, and the two ships were in company 
for a week. The meeting of the two Black Bailers is 
joyfully recorded in the Lightning Gazette, as follows: — 

Thursday, 30th October.— Lat. 29"^ 03' N.. Long 33** 14' W. Distance 
131 miles. Wind more easterly j 7 a.m tacked ship to N.N.W. A 
large ship in sight went about at same time, ahead of us, During 
forenoon Captain Enright expressed himself confident that she was 
the James Baines. Great excitement and numerous conjectures, 
bets, etc. One thing certain, that she sailed almost as fast as ourselves, 
and her rigging and sails were similar to those of the Baines. By sunset 
we had both weathered and gained on our companion. 

Friday, 31st October.— Lat. 30' 31' N.. Long. 35'' 15' W. Distance 
137 miles. All night light airs, and early dawn showed us our friend 
much nearer. At 8 a.m., she at last responded to our signals by hoisting 
the " Black Ball " at the mizen ! and a burgee at the gaff, with her 
name — James Baines ! Great excitement spread throughout the 
ship, and the conversation was divided between sympathy for all on 
board our unfortunate predecessor and conjectures as to the cause of 
her detainment. All day we were watching her every movement ; 
now she gains, now we near her ; now she " comes up " and now " falls 
off." About 2 p.m., we were evidently nearer than in the morning. 
A conversation a la Marryat. The Baines informed us that her pas- 
sengers were all well, asked for our longitude, if any news. etc. Captain 
Enright invited Captain McDonald to dine, but he did not respond. 
At 5 a.m.. still light airs, James Baines distant 1| mjl*"" 



LIGHTNING AND JAMES BAINES 107 

Saturday, 1st November.— Lat. ST 12' N.. Long. 36° W. Distance 
56 miles. During Friday evening, about 8 o'clock, the wind being still 
very light, we passed to windward of the unfortunate Jamei^ Barnes j 
so closely that we could hear the people on board cheering, and most 
vociferously did some of our passengers reply, with the addition of a 
profuse supply of chaff : such as amiable offers to take them in tow. 
a most commendable solicitude as to their stock of " lime juice," very 
considerate promises to " say they were coming " on arrival at Liver- 
pool, etc. All night the wind was light and baffling. A.t 2 a.m. it 
suddenly chopped round to the N.W., and the ship was put on the port 
tack. At 4, she was put about again. At 6.30, tacked ship to eastward, 
light airs and variable. The James Baines about 6 miles to leeward, 
a little brig on lee bow — which had been in company all Friday, and 
a barque on lee quarter. At 9, the brig, having put about, stood up 
towards us, and passing close to leeward, showed the Hambro ensign 
with private number 350. We once more tacked ship and stood to 
the northward and westward, the others following our example, and 
the breeze freshening, we all started on^ a race. The barque hoisted 
her ensign and number and proved to be the Cid, which we passed on 
the 29th ultimo. The brig soon after bore away to his " chum " to 
leeward, and they had a quiet little race to themselves, in which the 
barque appeared to be the victor. 

The clipper sisters were now once more pitted agamst each other : 
the far famed Lightning, with concave lines and breadth of bilge, in 
our opinion the worthy Donald's brightest idea, and the champion — the 
ship of 21 knots' notoriety — the James Baines. 

In light winds or airs we had crept by him, now, as the breeze 
freshens, as the white crest appears on the short toppling sea, as we 
lift and dive to the heavy northerly roll and all favours the long powerful 
ship. What do we behold ? The little brig and barque going astern, 
of course. Aye, but what else do we see ? Oh, ye Liverpool owners ! 
et tu, Donald, who thought to improve on the Lightning $ tell it not 
" on 'Change," publish it not in the streets of Liverpool. What do 
we see ? Hull down, courses and topsails below the horizon at 2 p.m., 
five hours from the start, the James Baines \\xst discernible from the 
deck : at the very lowest computation we have beaten her at the rate 
of IJ knots per hour, ^t sundown she is barely visible from the mizen 
topgallant crosstrees. It was generally supposed on board that her 
copper must have been much worn and rough or we never could have 
beaten so rapidly a ship of such noble appearance and well-known 
sailing qualities, 

Sunday. 2nd November.— Lat. 32° 57' N., Long. 37^ 37' W. Dist- 
ance 134 miles. Another day of light winds, heading us off to N.N.W. 
still. Evening, a little more wind, ship going about 7 knots. 



108 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Monday, 3rd November.— Lat. 34° 41' N.. Long. 38° 28' W. Distance 
113 miles. In the middle watch wind backed to the N.E. and fell light 
again. At 8, improvement again and by noon we lay N.E. by N., the 
best we have done for some days, but only going from 4J to 5 knots. 
A ship coming up astern, supposed to be the James Baines, bringing 
up a fair wind. 

Tuesday, 4th November.— Lat. 35° 47' N., Long. 38° 28' W. Dist- 
ance 66 miles. Commences with very light airs from the north, our 
ship on the port tack. Our friend James Baines again in sight astern. 

And this was the last the Lightning saw of the James 
Baines though the two ships arrived in the Mersey 
within 24 hours of each other, the Lightning leading. 
Both anchored in the river on 20th November, the 
Lightning being 84 days out, and the James Baines 
105 days. 

The following comparison between the two passages 
is interesting, as it shows th^t the two ships took the 
same number of days from the equator to Liverpool , viz . , 
40 days : — 



Points Between 


James Baines 


Lightning 


1 i 
Days Date Passed Days Date Passed 

I 


Melbourne to Cape Horn 
Cape Horn to equator 
Equator to Western Isles 
Western Isles to Liverpool 


36 
29 
28 
12 


Sept. 12 24 i Sept 1 
Oct. II ; 20 j Oct 9 

Nov. 8 ; 29 ! Nov. 7 
Nov. 20 11 Nov. 20 



Best 24-hours' run 356 miles 377 miles. 

The James Baines was simply unlucky in having 
a very light weather passage. Donald Mackay's ships 
were never- light weather flyers, in spite of setting every 
kind of light weather kite, from tiny "bulldog," as 
they called the moonsail on the main, down to the 
lowest watersail, that barely cleared the wave crests. 

Whilst we are comparing the speeds of James Baines 
and Lighininn. it is only fair to do so in heavy weather 



LOG OF JAMES BAINES 109 

as well as light. I therefore give below the logs of 
their best week's work on their respective outward 
passages in 1856 . Here it will be seen the James Baines 
just has the best of it. I have taken the remarks for 
Lightning's run from the Lightning Gazette, not the 
ship's log. 

Best Week's Run by James Baines, Liverpool to Melbourne, 
May, 1856. 

25th May.— Lat. 37" 40' S., Long. S" 28' E. Distance 328 miles. 
Winds, S.S.W., S.W. This day begins with heavy gale and heavy 
squalls. I have never before experienced such a heavy gale with so 
high a barometer. At 4 p.m. double-reefed main topsail and cross- 
jack. Midnight, similar wind and weather, heavy sea, ship labouring 
very heavily and shipping great quantities of water. Noon, very heavy 
sea ; sun obscured. 

26th May. — Lat. 38° 38' S., Long. 10" 0' E. Distance 320 miles. 
Winds, S.W., W.S.W. P.M., begins with strong gale and heavy sea, 
squalls and showers of rain, dark, gloomy weather. Midnight, gale 
decreasing, reefs out of courses, and set staysails. At 4 a.m., still 
moderating, out all reefs, set royals and skysail; 8 a.m., set all starboard 
studding sails. Noon, gentle breeze, fine clear weather ; wind westering 
all the time and sea going down. 

27th May.— Lat. 40*» 2' S., Long. 17« 41' E. Distance 384 miles, 
winds, W.S.W., S.W. Fine gentle breeze and fine clear weather, all sail 
set. Midnight, same wind and weather. A.M., breeze freshening and 
heavy black clouds driving up from S.W. Noon, same wind and weather. 

28th May— Lat. 42* 44' S., Long. 26" 48' E. Distance 404 miles. 
Winds, W.S.W. , west. P.M., begins with brisk gale and occasional heavy 
squalls accompanied with heavy rain. At 4 p.m., handed small sails 
and double-reefed fore and mizen courses. Midnight, still increasing. 
Noon, as previously. 

29th May.— Lat. 44° 15' S., Long. 30° 51' E. Distance 240 miles. 
Winds west. First part strong gales and fine clear weather, heavy 
sea, ship rolHng, Midnight, less wind, sea going down, set all small 
sails. At 4 a.m.. set all starboard studding sails. Noon, light breeze, 
dark gloomy weather. 

30th May.— Lat. 46° 16' S., Long. 36° 56' E. Distance 300 miles. 
Winds, W.N.W., W.S.W., S.S.W. First part light breezes and dark 
gloomy weather. 8 p.m., sky clearing and breeze increasing, barometer 
falling. Midnight, fresh gales, took in royal and skysail studding sails ; 
8 a.m. heavy snow squall ; took in topgallant studding sails. Noon 
fresh gales and clear weather with snow showers and squalls 



110 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

31th May.— Lat. 46*» 52' S., Long. 43* 54'. E. Distance 300 miles. 
Winds. W.N.W.. W.S.W., S.S.W. First part fresh breeze and squalls. 
10 p.m., ran through between Petit and Grande, Prince Edward Islands. 
Midnight, dark with snow squalls. Noon, as at midnight. 

Best Week's Run by Lightning, Liverpool to Melbourne, 
June- July, 1856. 

28th June.— Lat. 44" 25' S., Long. 42° 58' E. Distance 232 miles. 
Winds westerly. P.M., snow squalls, wind increasing. Preparations 
were made for shortening sail by taking in the lighter canvas. 
This was not accomplished before the mizen royal and mizen topmast 
staysail were torn to pieces. Between 5 and 6 p.m. the conflict raged 
most furiously. Reefs were taken in the topsails and these with the 
exception of the foresail were all the canvas set 

29th June.— Lat. 43* 36' S., Long. 50" 07' E. Distance 312 miles. 
Winds westerly. The gale of yesterday abated the intensity of its 
fury about midnight, we have set more sail though the wind blows stiff. 

30th June.— Lat. 44" 02' S., Long. 66" 35' E. Distance 281 miles. 
Winds westerly. The weather has been excessively cold, dark and 
cloudy. The heavy sea running caused the ship to roll heavily. 

1st July.— Lat. 44" 39' S., Long. 63" 27' E. Distance 298 miles. 
Wind westerly. Fine at first, then cloudy with showers of snow. 

2nd July.— Lat. 45" 07' S., Long. 70" 55' E. Distance 319 miles. 
Wind westerly. Wind still fresh and fair. 

3rd July.— Lat. 45° 07' S., Long. 79" 65' E. Distance 382 miles. 
Wind westerly. Her run to-day has been only once surpassed since 
she floated. She indeed seemed to fly through the water like a seabird 
on the wing, causing one of our passengers, who knows something of 
navigation, to remark that it was skating, not sailing. 

4th July.— Lat. 45" 07' S., Long. 88° 30' E. Distance 364 miles. 
Wind westerly. Still favoured with the propitious breeze. Our 
week's run is the best we have done yet and the best the Lightning has 
ever accomplished. 

It will be seen from the above log extracts that the 

James Baines ran 2276 and the Lightning 2188 miles 

in the week . 

The '* James Baines," ** Champion of the Seas," 
and ''Lightning" race out to India with 
Troops in the Time of the Mutiny. 

In 1857, the James Baines regained her reputation, 
coming home in 75 days against Ihe Lightning* s 82 days. 



CLIPPERS AS TROOPSHIPS 111 

Both ships, together with the Champion of the Seas, 
were at once taken up by the Government, and sent 
round to Portsmouth to load troops for India, on account 
of the Mutiny. It was confidently believed that the 
great Black Bailers would lower the record to Calcutta 
and the importance of getting the troops out as quickly 
as possible, was, of course, very great at such a crisis. 

After being carefully prepared for the voyage, the 
James Baines and Champion of the Seas sailed from 
Portsmouth at the beginning of August. Before sailing 
the James Baines was inspected by the Queen, when 
she is stated to have remarked that she did not know 
she had such a fine ship in her Dominions. 

On the 17th August the two ^ ships were met by the 
homeward bound Oneida, and reported to be making 
great progress. Both ships were under a cloud of 
canvas — the James Baines had 34 sails set, including 
3 skysails, moonsail and sky stunsails — and presented 
a splendid appearance as they surged by, their rails 
red with the jackets of the cheering troops. Unfor- 
tunately for the hopes of countless anxious hearts, the 
two Black Bailers reached the Bay of Bengal at the 
worst season of the year, and as they had not been 
built to ghost along in catspaws and zephyrs like the 
tea clippers, their progress up the Bay was very slow. 

Both ships arrived off the Sandheads on the same day, 
the James Baines being 101 days out and the Champion 
of the Seas 103 . This was a disappointing performance . 
The Lightning did not sail till the end of August. 
Owing to the illness of his wife. Captain Enright was 
obliged to give up his command, and was succeeded 
by Captain Byrne. On 24th August, the day before 
her departure from Gravesend, a dinner was given to 
Captain Enright aboard his old ship, at which several 



112 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

well-known public men, amongst whom was Mr. 
Benjamin Disraeli, paid their tribute to the world 
famous sea captain. 

The Lightning made a better passage than her sisters, 
being off the Hooghly, 87 days out. 

The Burning of the ** James Baines." 

After their trooping, the Lightning and Champion 
of the Seas returned to the Australian run, but her 
Calcutta voyage proved the death of the famous James 
Baines, 

She loaded the usual cargo of jute, rice, linseed 
and cow hides in the Hooghly, and arrived back in 
Liverpool in April, 1858. She was hauled into the 
Huskisson Dock and discharging commenced. The 
'tween decks were emptied, and on the 21st April 
the lower hatches were taken off in the presence of 
the surveyors, when there appeared no sign of anything 
wrong. But on the following morning smoke was 
noticed issuing from her hold, and a fire which started 
in the main hold soon destroyed her. The following 
account of her end I have taken from the Illustrated 
London News : — 

The fire burst out on Thursday morning, 22nd April, 1858. Although 
the engines were brought into play as rapidly as possible, there was no 
visible effect produced; and four or five times the firemen, whilst 
endeavouring to penetrate the interior of the vessel so as to get at the 
seat of the fire, were driven back by the density of the smoke. It 
then became necessary to cut away the spars, rigging, stays, etc., 
which was done promptly and after some time it was deemed advisable 
to scuttle the ship as the exertions from the deck to extinguish the 
fire seemed unavailing. There was plenty of water in the dock at the 
time, but at the receding of the tide the vessel grounded and the fire 
seemed to have run through the entire length of the ship, for the smoke 
burst out of all parts and baffled every exertion. In the forenoon the 
masts were an anxiety, their fall being anticipated, and in the afternoon 
this happened, the main mast and mizen mast falling with te.rrJftc 



BURNING OF JAMES BAINES 113 

crashes upon the quay and in their descent destroying the roofs of two 
sheds. At 9 o'clock at night the inner shell of the hull, for nearly the 
whole length of the vessel, was rapidly burning, the flames rising with 
fury between the ribs, which had connected the outer and inner hull, 
the intervening spaces being to the spectators like so many flues; 
and iron bolts, released by the flames, were dropping one after the 
other into the hold, where in the fore part of the ship, particularly the 
uppermost portion of the cargo, was being fast consumed. 

At first great alarm was felt for the neighbouring shipping, several 
of the steamers of the Cunard fleet being in the same dock, but no 
material damage was sustained by them, and they, with others, were 
as soon as possible removed out of harm's way. 

The value of the James Baines and cargo is estimated at £170,000. 
The vessel became a complete wreck, looking, according to one account, 
like a huge cinder in the Huskisson Dock; and very little of the cargo 
was saved. 

The loss of this magnificent ship was considered as a 
national disaster. Since that date thousands and 
thousands of people have boarded the James Baines 
without knowing it, for the old Liverpool Landing Stage 
was none other than the wreck of this celebrated clipper. 

America Sells her Clippers to Great Britain. 

When the great financial depression fell upon 
America in 1857 and was followed four years later by 
the Civil War, James Baines seized the opportunity 
to buy American clippers cheap and many other British 
firms followed his example. Mr. George Crowshaw, 
the American shipbroker in London, negotiated the 
sales and working arrangements. I have given a list 
in the Appendix of the best known of these ships, 
which put up the last fight for the sailing ship built of 
wood. Their day in the Australian trade was a short 
one; and they soon found iron passenger clippers in 
the lists against them, even to flying their own house- 
flag. And in their last days we find the Black Ball and 
White Star Lines chartering fine iron ships such as the 
Sam Cearns, Cornwallis and Ellen Stuart. 



114 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Notes on the later American-built Passenger 
Ships. 

Space does not admit of more than a few lines on 
the best known of these later clippers. 

The Southern Empire was an old three-decker Atlantic 
packet ship, and so was the^ Mackay -built Chariot of 
Fame, which is credited with a run out to Melbourne of 
67 days. There has lately been a reunion in New 
Zealand of the passengers who came out to Maori land 
in that ship. 

The Invincible was said to be the tallest ship sailing 
out of Liverpool. She was a White Star clipper and 
made some very fast passages. 

The Empress of the Seas, No. 1, was also a very fast 
ship. On 1st June, 1861, she left Liverpool, and 
arrived in Melbourne on 6th August, 66| days out. 

The Neptune*s Car, another big ship, is notable for a 
very different reason; for in 1857, when still under the 
Stars and Stripes, she was navigated for 52 days by 
the captain's wife. Captain Patten had placed his mate 
under arrest for incompetence and insubordination; 
then whilst the ship was off the Horn beating to the 
westward, Captain Patten himself became entirely 
blind. The second mate was no navigator. In this 
dilemma Mrs. Patten, who was only '24 years of age, 
took command of the ship and navigated her successfully 
from the Horn into Frisco Bay . 

Golden Age was the ship which claimed to have run 
22 knots in the hour with current to help her. 

The Royal Dane was a well-known ship in the London 
River when she was commanded by Captain Bolt. 
She also was a big three-decker. 

The Florence Nightingale was celebrated for her 
looks . 




"BLUE JACKET." 




ROYAL DANE." 



[To face page 114. 



QUEENSLAND EMIGRANT TRADE 115 

A curious incident happened anent the Mistress of 
the Seas; a passenger brought an action against the 
ship because he was ducked during the ceremony of 
crossing the line and the captain was fined £100. 

The Sunda was a very fine fast ship, and made some 
fine passages under the famous Bully Bragg. 

Black Bailers in the Queensland Emigrant 
Trade. 

Besides some smaller Nova Scotia built ships 
such as the Conway, Wansfell, Utopia and David 
Maclver, some of the best of the later Black Bailers 
were engaged in the Queensland emigration trade in 
the late sixties and early seventies. 

The Flying Cloud and the Sfunda once had a great 
race out to Moreton Bay, in which the Sunda beat the 
Flying Cloud by 18 miles in a 4-day run which averaged 
16 knots; this was the voyage in which Flying Cloud's 
boat was capsized between Brisbane and the anchorage, 
the second mate and all in her being drowned. 

In 1870 I find the following passages to Queensland: 

Young Australia, Captain James Cooper, 241 passengers left London, 
17th May — arrived Brisbane 25th August — 100 days out. 

Flying Cloud, Captain Owen, 385 passengers left Liverpool, 4th 
June — arrived Hervey's Bay 30th August — 87 days out. 

Royal Dane, Captain D. R. Bolt, 497 passengers left London, 30th 
July — arrived Rockhampton 19th November — 112 days out. 

••Sunda" and ♦•Empress of the Seas" Carry 
Sheep to New Zealand. 
In the early days of the gold excitement, the 
emigrant ships rushed out and home, but in the sixties 
we find them making short intermediate passages; 
for instance, the Sunda and Empress of the Seas one 
year transported thousands of sheep from Australia to 
New Zealand, each ship making two trips between Port 



116 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Phillip and Port Chalmers, with several thousands of 
sheep on board each trip. 

The Gold Rush to Gabriel's Gully in 1862. 

In 1862 several ships were hurried across with 
diggers from Melbourne to Port Chalmers for the gold 
rush to Gabriel's Gully. Money ran like water in Port 
Chalmers in those days, and as usual the gold miners 
were a pretty uproarious crowd. The Lightning, which 
was commanded at that date by Captain Tom Robertson, 
the marine painter, made a special trip with 900 diggers 
on board, and they gave Captain Robertson so much 
trouble that he put into the Bluff and landed a number 
of them there. The Bliie Jacket, also, took a load of 
this troublesome cargo. 

After Life and End of the Liverpool Emigrant 
Clippers. 

A favourite round in the latter days of the 
Liverpool soft-wood clippers was from Melbourne 
across to Auckland and from there over to the Chincas 
to load guano. From this the survivors gradually 
descended to the Quebec timber trade. By the early 
seventies I find Marco Polo, Red Jacket, Ben Nevis, 
and other well-known ships already staggering to 
and fro across the Atlantic between the Mersey and the 
St. Lawrence, whilst in June, 1874, the Flying Cloud 
got ashore on the New Brunswick coast, when making 
for St. John's, and was so strained that she was com- 
pelled to discharge her cargo and go on the slip for 
repairs. Here misfortune again overcame the grand 
old ship, for she took fire and was so gutted that she 
was sold for breaking up . 

It is curious how many of the old American-built 
soft-wood ships were destroyed by fire, their number 




LIGHTNING," on Fire at Geelong. 



From a photograph belonging to F. G. Layton. 



{To face page 117. 



BURNING OF LIGHTNING 117 

including the James Baines, Lightnings Empress of the 
Seas No. 1, Blue Jacket No. 1, Ocean Chief, Fiery 
Star, and second Sovereign of the Seas, 

The Burning of ** Lightning". 

The Lightning was burnt on 31st October, 1869, 
whilst alongside the pier at Geelong loading wool, and 
she already had 4000 bales of wool on board when the 
fire was discovered at 1 .30 in the morning in her fore 
holdo From the first the ship seemed to be doomed, 
and it was feared that the wharf might catch fire. She 
had an anchor out ahead, and an attempt was made 
to heave her clear of the pier, but the flames soon drove 
the crew from the windlass; however, on the mooring 
lines being cast off, she drifted" clear, and swung to 
her anchor, the whole fore part of the ship being now 
in flames. The foremast, which was an iron one, 
melted in its step owing to the heat and soon went over 
the side. An attempt was made to scuttle her by the 
desperate means of bombarding her from two 32- 
pounders, and to a modern gunner the result was as- 
tounding to say the least of it, for at only 300 yards 
range most of the rounds missed the Lightning altogether, 
whilst the few that hit her did more harm than good by 
giving the wind access to the fire and thereby increasing 
its fury. After burning all day, the famous old ship 
sank at sundown. 

The cause of the fire on the Lightning was agreed to 
be spontaneous combustion. A very different reason 
was given for the burning of the second Sovereign of the 
Seas. This ship had just arrived in Sydney with 
emigrants in 1861 and was discharging at Campbell's 
Wharf when the fire broke out, and at the coroner's 
investigation the jury found *'that the ship Sovereign 



118 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

of the Seas was wilfully, maliciously and feloniously 
set on fire on the 10th September, and that there was 
suflficient evidence to commit one of the ship's sailors, 
then in custody of the water police, on the charge." 
The Sydney fire brigade fought the flames for a whole 
day without avail; then half a dozen ship's carpenters 
attempted to scuttle her, but all in vain, and she .was 
left to her fate . 

The Ocean Chief, which was burnt at the Bluff, 
New Zealand, was also said to have been set on fire 
by her crew . 

The first Empress of the Seas was burnt at Queenscliff 
on the 19th December, 1861, three months after the 
Sovereign of the Seas had been set on fire at Sydney. 

**Blue Jacket's" Figure-head. 

The first Blue Jacket left Lyttelton, N.Z., homeward 
bound, and was abandoned on fire off the Falkland 
Isles on 9th March, 1869. Nearly two years later, 
on 8th December, 1871, to be exact. Blue Jacket* s 
figure-head was found washed up on the shore of Rottnest 
Island, off Fremantle, Western Australia. Part of 
it was charred by fire, but there was no mistaking the 
identity of the figure-head, which was described as **a 
man from the waist up, in old sailor's costume, a blue 
jacket with yellow buttons, the jacket open in the 
front, no waistcoat, loose shirt, and large knotted 
handkerchief round the neck; with a broad belt and 
large square buckle and cutlass hilt at the side. On 
either side of the figure-head was a scroll, saying: — 
*Keep a sharp lookout ! '" 

The Loss of the ** Fiery Star." 

On 1st April, 1865, the Fiery Star left Moreton 
Bav for London. On the 19th one of the men reported 



LOSS OF FIERY STAR 119 

a strong smell of smoke in the foc*s'le — this soon burst 
forth in volumes and a fire was located in the lower 
hold. The captain, named Yule, immediately had 
all hatchways battened down and ventilation pipes 
blocked up. The ship was running free, 400 miles 
from Chatham Island. A few days before a heavy 
sea had made matchwood of two of the boats, so the 
westerlies were evidently blowing strong. 

On the 20th a steam pump was rigged down the fore 
hatchway, and wetted sails were fastened over all 
scuttles and vents in the deck. But the fire continued 
to gain, and at 6 p.m. it burst through the port bow and 
waterways. The four remaining boats were at once 
provisioned and got over the side. Seeing that there 
was not room for everybody in the boats , Mr . Sargeant 
the chief officer, 4 A.B.'s and 13 apprentices agreed 
to stand by the ship — the remainder of the passengers 
and crew, to the number of 78, leaving in the boats 
under the captain. 

As soon as the boats had left, Mr. Sargeant renewed 
every effort to subdue the fire, and at the same time 
altered his course to get into the track of other ships. 
Then for 21 days he and his gallant band fought the 
flames and the numerous gales of those regions . Finally 
on 11th May, when the foremast was almost burnt 
through and tottering, a ship called the Dauntless 
hove in sight and took the mate and his worn -out crew 
off the doomed Fiery Star. 

For their gallantry in remaining behind, Mr. Sargeant 
and his men were presented with £160 by the people of 
Auckland, New Zealand, and right well they deserved 
it, for in all the glorious history of our Mercantile 
Marinci fewer brave acts have ever been recorded. 



120 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Some Famous Coal Hulks. 

Many an old Black Bailer ended her days as a 
coal hulk. Even the winter North Atlantic could 
not down the Red Jacket and Donald Mackay, and 
eventually Red Jacket went to Cape Verd and Donald 
Mackay to Madeira as coal hulks. How many of the 
Union-Castle passengers knew, when they cast their 
eyes pityingly or perhaps disdainfully on the grimy 
looking hulk floating a cable's length or so away from 
their spotless liner, that they were looking upon a 
crack passenger ship of their grandfather's day. 

Light Brigade was a coal hulk at Gibraltar for many 
years, having as a companion the famous Three Brothers. 

The Golden South, after lying in Kerosene Bay, Port 
Jackson, for about twenty years with her holds full of 
coal, was burnt through sparks from the old reformatory 
ship Vernon falling upon her decks. The burning of 
the two ships lit up the hills for miles round, and many 
an old time Sydney -sider will remember the spectacle. 

Loss of the ** Young Australia." 

The Young Australia, after ten years' successful 
trading between England and Brisbane, was wrecked 
on the north point of Moreton Island on 31st May, 1872, 
when homeward bound, just four and a half hours after 
leaving her anchorage off the pilot station. Whilst 
the ship was in the act of going about, the wind fell 
calm and the heavy easterly swell and southerly current 
set the ship towards the rocks. The anchor was let 
go too late, and the heavy swell hove the ship broadside 
on to the rocks . With some difficulty the passengers were 
got ashore ; and before night, owing to the way in which 
the heavy swell was grinding the ship on the rocks, it 
was deemed advisable for the crew to abandon her. 




"IJ.GHT BRIGADE. 




YOUNG AUSTRALIA.' 



CLIPPERS' LAST DAYS 121 

By the 6th June the wreck had broken in half and 
was full of water, and on the Tth it was sold by auction 
in Brisbane, and after some brisk bidding was knocked 
down to a Mr. Martin for the sum of £7100. 

The Champion of the Seas foundered off the Horn 
when homeward bound in 1877. 

The White Star was wrecked in 1883. 

Southern Empire fell a victim to the North Atlantic 
in 1874. 

Royal Dane was wrecked on the coast of Chile when 
homeward bound with guano in 1877. 

The Morning Star foundered on a passage from 
Samarang to U.K. in 1879. 

The Shalimar was bought by ^ the Swiss and the 
Morning Light by the Germans, who renamed her 
J.M,Wendt. 

The Queen of the Colonies was wrecked off Ushant in 
1874, when bound from Java to Falmouth. 

The Legion of Honour went ashore on the Tripoli 
coast in 1876, after changing her flag. 

The Fate of ** Marco Polo." 

The Marco Polo in her old age was owned by 
Wilson & Blain, of South Shields ; then the Norwegians 
bought her. After years in the Quebec timber trade, 
she was piled up on Cape Cavendish, Prince Edward 
Island, in August, 1883, and on the 6th her cargo of 
pitch-pine and the famous old ship herself were sold by 
auction and only fetched £600 . 

And so we come to the end of a short but wonderful 
period in the * 'History of Sail." — Sic transit gloria 
mundi 



PART IT.— ''THE WOOL CLIPPERS." 

(Wood and Composite Ships). 

With tallow casks all dunnaged tight, with tiers on tiers of bales. 
With cargo crammed from hatch to hatch, she's racing for the sales; 
A clipper barque, a model ship, a "flyer" through and through, 
O skipper bluff! O skipper brave 1 I would I went with you! 

— G. J. Brady. 

The Carriers of the Golden Fleece. 

TF it was the discovery of gold that founded Australia's 
-■■ fortune, the Golden Fleece and the Wheat Sheaf 
have set it upon a rock. 

It was the gold fever that swept the great tide of 
emigration in the direction of the Southern Cross and 
carried the star of the Liverpool shipowners upon its 
flood, but that star began to set as soon as the output 
of alluvial gold began to diminish, as soon, indeed, 
as the great soft-wood clippers of the Black Ball and 
White Star began to grow water-soaked and strained, 
for their prosperity may be said to have ended with the 
sixties and had scarcely a longer run than the classifi- 
cation of their ships . But the percentage of emigrants 
landed by these ships, who stuck for any time to the 
elusive hunt for gold, was very small; and the greater 
number of the gold seeking emigrants eventually 
settled and worked on the homesteads and great runs 
of the interior, with the natural result that there was 
a large and steady increase in the output of wool, 
hides, tallow, wheat and other land products. 

The huge Liverpool emigrant ships, however, wert 

122 



LONDON WOOL SALES 123 

not fitted for the economical transport of these products 
to their central market in London. They were too big 
for one thing, for, in those early days, wool and tallow 
dribbled into the big ports in small amounts; also 
the repair bills of these soft-wood clippers were an 
ever increasing item to put against their freight receipts. 
Thus it came about that the wonderful American- 
built ships dropped out of the running. But their 
London rivals, the beautiful British -built hard -wood 
ships of half their size, having no heavy repair bills, 
being splendidly built of that imperishable wood teak, 
and being able to fill up their small holds quickly, 
continued to carry passengers outward and wool home- 
ward until supplanted in their turn by the magnificent 
iron clippers of the Clyde, Liverpool and Aberdeen. 

The London Wool Sales. 

These were the days when great races home from 
Australia took place — not only did ship race against 
ship, but it was the aim and object of every skipper 
to get his ship home in time for the first wool sales 
in London. And in the wool trade, unlike the custom 
in the tea trade, the fastest ships were loaded last — 
the pride of place — that of being the last ship to leave 
an Australasian port for the London wool sales being 
reserved for that which was considered the fastest ship 
in the trade . 

In the eighties, when the tea trade was entirely in 
the hands of the steamers, this pride of place in Sydney 
was always kept for Willis' famous clipper. Cutty S ark, 
no other ship, either wood or iron built, being able to 
rival her passages both out and home in the wool trade . 

The London wool sales took place in January, 
February and March, and the lists of the first sales 



124 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

were closed as soon as a sufficient number of cargoes 
had arrived or been reported in the Channel. Thus 
it was the aim of every skipper to get reported as soon 
as possible after reaching the Channel, as the cargoes 
of ships reported in the Channel by noon on the opening 
day of the sales were included in the sale lists . Whereas 
if a captain missed the sales, his cargo would have 
to be warehoused for perhaps two or three months 
until the next sales, thus involving extra expenses 
such as warehouse charges, loss of interest, etc., not 
to speak of the possibility of a fall in the price of wool. 
In those days signal stations were not as numerous 
on our coasts as they are now, and so wool clippers 
on arriving in the Channel kept a specially sharp look- 
out for fishing smacks or pilot cutters to take their 
reports on shore. Occasionally the captains of the 
late -starting, crack ships were promised substantial 
cheques if they caught the sales and truly it was money 
well earned. 

The Lost Art of the Stevedore. 

In the present days of steam, steel and water 
ballast, stevedoring is no longer the fine art which 
it used to be in the days of masts and yards, clipper 
keels and oak frames. 

As every sailor knows, no two ships are alike, even 
when built from the same moulds; and though this 
is the case with every water-borne vessel, it is 
specially noticeable with that almost living thing— 
the sailing ship. Not only does every sailing ship 
have its own character as regards its stability, but 
its character often changes with age, etc., and no 
tables can give the exact way in which its cargo should 
be loaded as regards weights and trim. The hand 



THE STEVEDORE'S ART 125 

books on the subject give rough, general rules, but 
the captain of a ship, from his own first hand knowledge 
of his ship's peculiarities, would always give careful 
instructions to the stevedore as to how he wanted the 
weights of the cargo placed or distributed. 

So first of all the old time stevedore had to load his 
ship in accordance with her own particular character 
and the wishes of her captain. Next he had to be an 
expert packer, especially with a wooden ship with a 
hold cut up by big oak frames and knees. No space 
was wasted. There is an old story told of a stevedore 
loading the little Tasmanian barque Harriet McGregor, 
who sang out to his mate on the wharf. ** Sling us 
down a box of pickles, Bill!'\ Then the stevedore 
had all sorts of goods in a general cargo, some of which 
could not be stowed near each other, such as soda, 
which melts at sea and destroys cottons, etc. Also 
washed wool, leather, flour or wheat would be damaged 
if stowed with tallow and greasy wool. Other goods 
could only be stowed in the hatches, such as cases of 
glass, whilst wine and spirits had to be stowed aft to 
be out of the way of the crew. 

Instances have been known also of ships coming 
home from Australia with their iron masts packed 
full of bullocks' horns, shank and knuckle bones, which 
were more generally used for broken stowage. 

An amusing case with regard to bullocks' horns and 
knucklebones happened on one of Carmichael's ships, 
through the mate signing the bills of lading without 
examining them . He signed for so many horns , so many 
shank bones and so many knuckle bones loose. On 
arrival in London the consignee sent a lighter for 
the horns, and intimated that he wanted the shank 
bones delivered entirely separate from the knuckle 



120 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

bones. Carmichaers got out of it by some very plain 
speaking, the mate's receipts proving that a fraud had 
been attempted. 

Bags of pearl shell were generally used in Sydney 
to fill up cargo near the hatches; and I find in July, 
1868, that the Jerusalem ^ (Captain Largie) shipped 
9 tons of mother-of-pearl shell at Melbourne in small 
casks and 3 -foot cases. 

Below are specimens of early cargoes home from 
Australia in the sixties, with port charges, pilotage 
dues, etc. 

The ship Omar Pasha, Captain Thomas Henry, 
belonging to Messrs. G. Thompson, Sons & Co., of 
Aberdeen, took in at Melbourne, in October, 1864: — 
3650 bales of wool, 20 tons spelter, 

14,000 hides, 4000 ounces of gold 

80 casks of tallow, 

and 12 cabin passengers. With the above she drew 
19 ft. aft and 18 ft. 9 in. forward, her best trim at sea. 
The ballast of stones, spelter and hides was estimated 
at 430 tons. The wool was screwed in; and the 
dunnage, stones and horns, was 12 inches thick in the 
bottom and 15 inches in the bilges. Port charges 
were Is. per ton ; pilotage in £28 18s. 6d.; out 
£28 18s. 6d. 

The ship Transatlantic, Captain Philip, belonging to 
Messrs. G. Thompson, Junr., & Co., of London, took 
in at Sydney, June, 1864 : — 

1360 bales of wool, 300 bags and 40 cases Kauri gum, 

135 casks of tallow, 50 tons of iron bark timber, 
5300 hides. 

She had no ballast. Dunnage wood in the bottom 
9 inches, bilges 12 inches, one treenail between the 
wool and the sides. So laden, she drew 14 J ft. aft, 
14 ft. forward. Her best sea trim was 6 inches by the 



EARLY CARGOES 127 

stern. Port charges at Sydney, customs entry and 
shipping office £4 4s.; pilotage out 4d. per ton; the 
same in. 

The ship Queen of Nations, Captain Thomas Mitchell, 
belonging to Messrs. G. Thompson & Co., left Sydney 
on 21st September, 1865, loaded with: — 

484 bales of wool, 2602 ingots and plates of copper, 

44 bales of cotton, 62 tons of gum, 

1037 casks of cocoanut oil, 9462 hides. 

219 casks of tallow, 

For ballast she had 30 tons of kentledge; dunnage, 
treenails and bones, 12 inches in the bottom, 18 in the 
bilges and 6 in the sides. The hides were laid from two 
beams abaft the foremast to the mizen mast; oil on 
the hides, with a tier of tallow between; the wool, 
cotton , gum , etc . , in the 'tween decks. Her best trim 
was 9 inches by the stern. So laden she drew 18 ft. 
forward and ISJ ft . aft . Pilotage in £14 2s . ; out £14 2s . 

The Murray, under the command of Captain J. Legoe, 

belonging to Anderson's Orient Line, left Adelaide in 

December, 1863, loaded with: — 

3182 bales of wool, 35 boxes silver lead ore, 

19,522 ingots of copper, 15 bales of leather, 

1590 bags of silver lead ore, 277 calf skins, 

473 bags of copper ore, 1150 horns, 

16 cases and 10 casks of wine. 

She had a full complement of passengers, who occupied 
250 tons of cargo space. So laden she drew 15 J ft. 
forward and 16 ft. 2 in. aft, her best draught for sailing 
being 15 ft. forward and 15 ft. 8 in. aft. Port charges, 
harbour dues and light and tonnage dues £28 lis. 6d.; 
pilotage in and out £17. 

Screwing Wool. 

As every sailorman knows, wool is screwed into 
a ship's hold like cotton; and a good captain in the 



128 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

old days would see that his ship was jammed so tight 
with bales that one would think her seams would 
open — indeed wood and composite ships always used 
to have their decks and tops ides well caulked before 
loading wool. As showing how much the amount of 
wool loaded depended upon (ji the captain, Captain 
Woodget used to get 1000 bales more into the Cutty 
Sark than his predecessor . He made a habit of spending 
most of the day in the ship's hold and thought nothing 
of having a tier or half longer pulled down and restowed 
if he was not satisfied with the number of bales got in. 

You can dunnage casks o* tallow; you can handle hides an' horn; 
You can carry frozen mutton; you can lumber sacks o' corn; 
But the queerest kind o' cargo that you've got to haul and pull 
Is Australia's "staple product" — is her God-abandoned wool. 
For it's greasy an' it's stinkin', an' them awkward, ugly bales 
Must be jammed as close as herrings in a ship afore she sails. 

For it's twist the screw and turn it. 

And the bit you get you earn it; 
You can take the tip from me, sir, that it's anything but play 

When you're layin' on the screw, 

When you're draggin' on the screw, 
In the summer, under hatches, in the middle o' the day. 

So sings the Australian sailor's poet Brady. 

In the sixties the bales of wool were pressed on shore 
by hydraulic power, then lashed with manila or New 
Zealand hemp, or hoop iron, at the ship's expense. 
The bales were generally pressed on their flats, but 
sometimes, for the sake of stowage, on their ends, when 
they were called ** dumps." They had to be stowed 
immediately after being pressed, as if left for any time, 
especially in the sun, the wool would swell and carry 
away the lashings. There were from 8 to 12 lashings for 
each package of Sydney wool, which were called single 
dumps, doubles, trebles and fourbles, according to the 
number lashed together, trebles being the most common . 




ts&s 



I STEPHENS & SONS 




AsJ.CARMICHAEL. 



wn 



WATSON BROTHERS 





D. ROSE & C9 ALEX. NICOL & C9 




MINE BROTHERS. 




SHAW, SAVILL& C9 ALBfON SHiPPING C9 



WOOL CARGOES 129 

The actual loading of a wool cargo was a slowish 
process, and sometimes attended with danger to the 
stowers if great care was not used, as wool bales have 
great elasticity. A description of the uses of screws, 
Sampson posts, trunk planks, toms, shores, etc., would, 
I fear, be so technical as to be wearisome. 

One of the chief dangers in a wool cargo is spontaneous 
combustion. This caused the end of several fine ships, 
such as the Fiery Star and the new Orient liner Aurora, 
Spontaneous combustion was likely to happen if the 
bales were wet or damp, either when loaded or through 
contact with other damp cargo, dunnage, ballast or 
even sweating water tanks. Often enough the wool 
got a wetting on its way to the ship, and though possibly 
afterwards sun-dried on the outside of the bales, so that 
to all appearances it was perfectly dry, was really 
damp inside and very inflammable. Some Australian 
wool growers contended that the practice of clipping 
sheep in the morning when the fleeces were heavy with 
dew was a cause of spontaneous combustion. 

Wool, of course, being a very light cargo, requires 
stiffening, but hides, tallow, etc., were generally used 
as deadweight, also copper ore. A ship with a wool 
cargo was reckoned to require two-thirds of the ballast 
necessary when in ballast only. Wool freights in the 
early days were Id. per lb., and gradually fell to a 
farthing per lb. — this was for washed wool: the freight for 
greasy wool, which had not been cleaned and was there- 
fore heavier than washed wool, being about 25% less. 

The Aberdeen White Star Line. 

Amongst the pioneers of the trade with the 
Colonies George Thompson, of the Aberdeen Clipper 
Line, known to generations of Australians as the 



130 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Aberdeen White Star Line, holds a foremost place. 
The history of this celebrated firm dates back to 
the year 1825, when its first representative, a clipper 
brig of 116 tons named the Childe Harold, was sent 
afloat . 

It may safely be said that from that hour the Aberdeen 
White Star Line has never looked back. From the 
first it earned a reputation for enterprise and good 
management. Amongst its fleet were numbered some 
of the earliest clipper ships built in the United Kingdom, 
ships whose records were worthy to rank with those 
of the celebrated Black Ball and White Star Lines; 
and which in their liberal upkeep had little to learn 
from even such aristocrats of the sea as the Blackwall 
frigates . 

Until the discovery of gold, the green clippers ran 
regularly to Sydney, but when all the world began to 
take ship for Melbourne, the port of the gold region, 
it was only natural that some of the Aberdeen White 
Star ships should be put on the Melbourne run, and 
from that date the little flyers from Aberdeen were 
as well known in Hobson's Bay as Sydney Cove. 

The ships were all built in the yard of Walter Hood, 
of Aberdeen, in whose business Messrs. Thompson held 
a large interest, and were all designed by Walter Hood 
with the exception of the celebrated Thermopylae. 

George Thompson, who founded the line, was joined, 
in 1850, by his son-in-law the late Sir William 
Henderson , and later on Mr . Thompson 's sons , Stephen , 
George and Cornelhis, came by turns into the partner- 
ship. 

The following is a complete list of the wood and 
composite ships of the Aberdeen White Star fleet, 
dating from 1842: — 



ABERDEEN WHITE STAR LINE 

List of the Wood and Composite Ships of the 
Aberdeen White Star Fleet. 



181 



1842 


Neptune, 


wood 


ship . 


. 343 tons. 


1842 


Prince oj Wales 


,, 




. 682 „ 


1846 


Oliver Cromwell 


,, 




. 530 „ 


1846 


Phoenician 






. 530 „ 


1849 


John Biinyan 


., 




. 470 „ 


1850 


Centurion 


,, 




. 639 „ 


1852 


Woolloomoolloq 


,, 




. 627 „ 


1852 


Walter Hood 


,, 




. 936 .. 


1853 


Maid of Judah 


,, 




. 756 ., 


1854 


Omar Pasha 


,, 




. 1124 .. 


1855 


Star of Peace 


,, 




.. 1113 .. 


1856 


Wave of Life 


,, 




. 887 ., 


1857 


Damascus 


,, 




. . 964 ., 


1857 


Transatlantic 


,, 




. 614 „ 


1858 


Moravian 


,, 




. 996 „ 


1860 


Strathdon 


,, 




.. 1011 .. 


1861 


Queen of Nations 


,, 




.. 872 „ 


1862 


Kosciusko 


,, 




.. 1192 „ 


1864 


Nineveh 


,, 




. . 1174 „ 


1864 


Ethiopian 


,, 




.. 839 .. 


1865 


George Thompson 


,, 




. . 1128 „ 


1866 


Christiana Thompson ,, 




. . 1079 „ 


1866 


Harlaw 


,, 




.. 894 .. 


1867 


Thyatira 


comp 


ship 


.. 962 .. 


1867 


Jerusalem 


wood 


ship 


. . 901 .. 


1868 


Thermopylae 


comp 


ship 


.. 948 ., 


1868 


Ascalon 


wood 


ship 


. . 938 „ 


1869 


Centurion 


comp 


ship 


. . 965 „ 


1870 


Aviemore 


wood 


ship 


. . 1091 „ 



No ships that ever sailed the seas presented a finer 
appearance than these little flyers. They were always 
beautifully kept and were easily noticeable amongst 
other ships for their smartness: indeed, when lying 
in Sydney Harbour or Hobson's Bay with their yards 
squared to a nicety, their green sides* with gilt streak 
and scroll work at bow and stern glistening in the sun, 
their figure-heads, masts, spars and blocks all painted 

♦ The green with which the Aberdeen White Star ships were painted 
was a composite paint always known as Aberdeen green. 



132 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

white and every rope's end flemish -coiled on snow- 
white decks, they were the admiration of all who saw 
them . 

There's a jaunty White Star Liner, and her decks are scrubbed and 

clean 
And her tall white spars are spotless, and her hull is painted green. 
Don't you smell the smoky stingo? Ech! ye'll ken the Gaelic lingo 
Of the porridge-eating person who was shipped in Aberdeen. 

— Brady. 

From the first to the last they were hard -sailed ships, 
and some of the fastest were often sent across to China 
for a home cargo of tea, though the Thermopylae was 
the only bona-fide tea clipper in the fleet. 

On the outward passage, whether to Sydney or 
Melbourne, they generally carried a few first-class 
passengers, but it was only during the very height of 
the gold rush that their 'tween decks were given up to 
a live freight. 

The ** Phoenician." 

The first of the Aberdeen White Star fleet to 
make a reputation for speed was the celebrated 
Phoenician, under the command of one of the best 
known passage makers of the day. Captain Sproat. 
Her dimensions were: — 

Length of cut keel 

Rake of stem 

Rake of sternpost 

Extreme breadth 

Depth of hold 

Registered tonnage (old) 
„ „ (new) 

Deadweight capacity 

Her first three voyages were considered extraord- 
inarily good for those days. 

1 849-50 London to Sydney 90 days — Sydney to London 88 days. 
1850-61 „ „ 96 „ .. „ 103 „ 
1851-52 „ ., 90 „ „ ., 83 .. 



122 feet 


25 .. 


7 „ 


27 feet 5 inches 


19 .. 1 .. 


526 tons. 


478 .. 


780 „ 


considered ex 



ABERDEEN WHITE STAR LINE 138 

The John Bunyan in 1850 made the run home from 
Shanghai in 99 days, which, even though she had a 
favourable monsoon, was a very fine performance. 

The Walter Hood on her maiden voyage under the 
command of Captain Sproat made the passage out to 
Australia in 80 days, and the account given in the 
papers remarks: — ** Her sailing qualities may be 
judged from the fact of her having run during four 
several days 320 miles each 24 hours.'* 

The Maid of Judah had the honour of taking out the 
Royal Mint to Sydney in 1853. Her dimensions 
are interesting to compare with those of the Phoenician, 
so I give them : — 

Length of keel ,. .. -.. 160 feet. 

Length over all .. ^. ., 190 „ 

Beam .. .. .. .. 31 „ 

Depth of hold 19 „ 

The Queen of Nations, under Captain Donald, went 
from Plymouth to Melbourne in 87 and 84 days; but 
the fastest of these earlier clippers was the well-known 
Star of Peace, which made four consecutive passages 
to Sydney of 77, 77, 79, and 79 days under the redoubt- 
able Captain Sproat. 

I remember seeing a picture of this fine clipper, 
representing her off the Eddy stone when homeward 
bound. She was a very rakish looking craft with long 
overhangs and carried a heavy press of sail, which 
included double topsails, skysails, main and mizen 
sky staysails and also three-cornered moonsails stretch- 
ing to the truck of each mast. 

The Ethiopian, on her first voyage to Melbourne, 
went out in 68 days under Captain William Edward. 
She sailed her last voyage under the British flag in 1886. 
She was then rigged as a barque, and on her passage 



134 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

home from Sydney had a remarkable race with the 
iron Orontes, belonging to the same owners. The 
two vessels cast off their tugs together outside Sydney 
Heads, sighted each other off the Horn, were becalmed 
together in the doldrums, spoke the same ship off the 
Western Isles; and when the chops of the Channel 
were reached, the Ethiopian was hove to taking sound- 
ings in a fog, when the Orontes came up under her stern 
within hailing distance. Finally the Ethiopian got 
into the East India Docks one tide ahead of the Orontes, 
thus winning the race and a considerable sum in wagers. 

The Lucky ** Nineveh." 

The Nineveh f built the same year as the Ethiopian, 
was an extremely lucky ship in her freights and pas- 
sengers and made a great deal of money. Old Stephen 
Thompson was so pleased that he gave Captain Barnet 
a banquet at the Holborn Restaurant, and all through 
the dinner kept toasting '"the lucky Nineveh,"*^ 

The ** Jerusalem." 

These wooden clippers were often very 
tender coming home with wool, as the following 
reminiscence given by Coates in his Good Old Days of 
Shipping will show: — *' Apropos of Jerusalem, I re- 
member a most exciting race with the large American 
ship Iroquois. We were homeward bound from the 
Colonies, flying light and very crank, a not uncommon 
condition with a wool cargo. The Yank was first 
sighted on our quarter, the wind being quarterly, 
blowing moderately, though squally at times. 

** Whilst the wind remained so the Iroquois had no 
chance, but when it freshened the Jerusalem heeled 
over to such an extent that it necessitated sail being 



THE JERUSALEM 185 

taken in. Soon the American was ploughing along 
to leeward carrying her three topgallant sails and whole 
mainsail and going as steady as a die, whilst the Jeru- 
salem was flying along with fore and main lower top- 
gallants and reefed mainsail, but heeling over to such a 
degree that one could barely stand upright, the water 
roaring up through the lee scuppers, and during the 
squalls lipping in over the rail. 

'*In a short time the topgallant sails and mainsail 
were handed and preparations made to reef the fore 
topsail. By this time, however, the Iroquois had just 
passed the beam, when, apparently, her skipper, 
satisfied to have passed us, snugged his ship down to 
three reefed topsails and we shortly after lost sight of 
her in a blinding squall." 

And Coates goes on to say: — **To see this ship when 
moderately light was a great pleasure, her lines were the 
perfection of symmetry. In one day I remember 
324 miles being got out of this ship ; she was one of the 
first to carry double topgallant yards." 

As a matter of fact, the Jerusalem was generally 
considered the fastest ship in the fleet next to Ther- 
mopylae, She made several very good passages from 
China in the seventies of under 110 days. Captain 
Crutchley , in his book My Life at Sea, gives an instance 
of her speed, in describing how she raced ahead of the 
. tea clipper Omba, both ships being bound up the Channel 
with a strong beam wind. On this occasion, however, 
it was the Omba which was the tender ship, as she could 
not carry her royals though the Jerusalem had all plain 
sail set. 

The Thyatira, Thompson's first composite ship, was 
also a very ticklish vessel to handle when wool -laden. 
On her maiden voyage she went out to Melbourne in. 



136 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

77 days, but took 96 days to get home, during which 
passage she gave her officers much anxiety owing to her 
extreme tenderness. 

Captain Mark Breach's First Encounter with 
his Owner. 

Captain Mark Breach, one of the best known of 
the Aberdeen White Star captains, entered the employ of 
the firm as second mate on the newly launched Thyatira. 
The Thyatira was on the berth for Melbourne when 
he joined her. On his second day aboard he was 
superintending the stowage of cargo in the hold, 
when old Stephen Thompson came down to have a look 
round. The Thyatira^ s owner happened to be smoking 
a fine meerschaum pipe, and young Breach, being 
completely ignorant of the identity of the visitor, im- 
mediately went up to him and informed him in no 
uncertain language that his lighted pipe was dead 
against all rules and regulations. Mr. Thompson, 
without disclosing his identity, at once apologised 
and returned his pipe to its case. Presently when the 
visitor had departed, the mate asked Mr. Breach 
what he had been talking to Mr. Thompson about. 
And one may well imagine that the new second mate 
was somewhat scared when he learnt that it was his 
owner to whom he had been laying down the law. 
However, the mate comforted him by telling him that 
Stephen Thompson had been very pleased and prophesied 
that he would be a good servant to the company. 

Mark Breach afterwards served as mate of the 
Miltiades, then commanded the Jerusalem, Aviemore, 
and finally the famous Patriarch. 

The Thyatira was a very favourite ship and made 
some very good passages. She and the Jerusalem both 



THERMOPYLAE AND CENTURION I3t 

loaded tea home from China on more than one occasion, 
and made passages of under 110 days in the N.E. 
monsoon . 

The •'Thermopylae." 

Thermopylae's career I have already dealt with 
fully in the China Clippers, Her sail plan was cut 
down twice in her old age, thus taking off a good deal 
of her speed in light weather, but even then there were 
not many vessels which could give her the go-by, 
either in light or heavy weather. 

The *♦ Centurion." 

The second Centurion was launched in the spring 
of 1869, and measured : — Length 208 ft.; beam 35 ft.; 
depth 21 ft. Captain Mitchell overlooked her building 
and was her first commander. She was a very fast ship 
and he always hoped to beat the Thermopylae with 
her, but never succeeded. 

On her first voyage she went out to Sydney in 69 days. 
It was a light weather passage and she never started 
the sheets of her main topgallant sail the whole way. 
She is stated to have made 360, 348 and 356 miles in 
three successive days running down her easting, but 
I have been unable to verify these runs. Captain 
Mitchell died on her second voyage just before reaching 
the Channel homeward bound She also made some 
creditable tea passages, but was mostly kept in the 
Sydney trade. In 1871 she went out in 77 days and 
in 1872 in 78 days. 

The *'Aviemore." 

The Aviemore was the last of the wooden ships, 
and at the date of her launch, the first iron ship built 



138 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

for Thompsons, the celebrated Patriarch, had already 
proved herself such a success as to put all idea of 
building any but iron ships in the future out of the 
question. 

The Fate of the Early White Star Clippers. 

The first Centurion ended her daj^s as a total 
loss in 1866. 

The Walter Hood was wrecked near Jervis Bay 
Lighthouse, New South Wales, on 27th April, 1870, 
when bound from London to Sydney with general 
cargo, her captain and 12 men being drowned. 

The Woolloomoolloo ended her days under the Spanish 
flag and was wrecked in 1885. 

The Maid of Judah was sold to Cowlislaw Bros., 
of Sydney, in 1870. In December, 1879, she left 
Sydney for Shanghai, coal-laden, with Captain Webb 
in command, and the following June was condemned 
and broken up at Amoy. 

The Omar Pasha was burnt at sea in 1869, when 
homeward bound from Brisbane, wool-laden. 

The celebrated Star of Peace, after being run for 
some years by Burns, Philp & Co., of Sydney, was 
converted into a hulk at Thursday Island, being only 
broken up in 1895. 

The Wave of Life was sold to Brazil, and sailed as 
the Ida until 1891, when she was renamed Henriquita, 
Finally she was condemned and broken up in March, 
1897. 

The Damascus was bought by the Norwegians, who 
changed her name to Magnolia, On 1st September, 
1893, she stranded at Bersimis and became a total loss. 

The Transatlantic was rebuilt in 1876; in 1878 she 
Was owned by J. L. Ugland, of Arendal; and on 15th 



EARLY WHITE STAR CLIPPERS 189 

October, 1899, when bound to Stettin from Mobile, 
she foundered in the Atlantic. 

The Moravian was sold to J. E. Ives, of Sydney, 
and ended her days as a hulk, being broken up at 
Sydney in March, 1895. 

The Sirathdon, under the name of Ziverver, did many 
years' service with the Peruvian flag at her gaff end. 
She was broken up in 1888. 

The Queen of Nations was wrecked near Woolloagong, 
New South Wales, on 31st May, 1881, when bound out 
to Sydney. All hands were saved except one. 

The Kosciusko, like the Maid of Judah, was bought 
by Cowlislaw Bros., being broken up at Canton in 
1899. 

The Nineveh was bought by Good let & Smith, of 
Sydney. She was abandoned in the North Pacific in 
February, 189C. 

The Ethiopian was sold to the Norwegians. In 
October, 1894, when bound from St. Thomas to Cork, 
she was abandoned near the Western Isles. She was 
afterwards picked up 15 miles from Fayal and towed 
into St. Michael's, where she was condemned. 

The George Thompson passed through the hands of 
A. Nicol & Co., of Aberdeen, and J. Banfield, of 
Sydney, to the Chileans. On 13th June, 1902, she 
was wrecked at Carlemapu. 

The Christiana Thompson went to the Norwegians 
and was renamed Beatrice Lines. She was wrecked 
near Umra in Norway on 7th October, 1899. 

The Harlazv was wrecked at Hongkong in 1878. 

The Jerusalem, like many of the others, was con- 
verted into a barque in her old age. In 1887 she was 
bought by the Norwegians. On 28th October, 1893. 
§be left New Brunswick for London with a cargo of 



140 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

pitch -pine and resin and never arrived, the usual end 
of timber droghers on the stormy North Atlantic. 

The Thyatira was bought by J. W. Woodside & Co., 
of Belfast, in 1894. In July, 1896, when bound from 
London to Rio with general cargo, she was wrecked at 
Pontal da Barra. 

The Ascalon was bought by Trinder, Anderson & Co. 
in 1881 . They ran her for nine years and then sold her 
to the Norwegians. She was wrecked on 7th February, 
1907, at Annalong, when bound from Runcorn to Moss, 

The second Centurion left Sydney for Newcastle, 
N.S.W., on 17th January, 1887; at 1.30 a.m. whilst 
off the Heads, the tug's line carried away: the ship 
drifted on to the North Head, struck and then sank in 18 
fathoms, barely giving her crew 15 minutes to get clear. 

The Aviemore was bought by the Norwegians. In 
October, 1910, she left Sandejford for the South Shetland 
where she was converted into a floating oil refinery. 
Later she was resold to the Norwegians, and I have a 
snapshot of her taken in Bristol in 1915, rigged as a 
barque with a stump bowsprit. 

Duthie's Ships. 

Another well-known Aberdeen firm which was 
a pioneer in the Australian trade was Duthies. They 
were builders as well as owners. The original William 
Duthie started his shipbuilding business over 100 years 
ago . Besides owning many of the ships he built, he was 
also a large timber merchant, and kept some vessels in 
the North American timber trade. He was also one 
of the first to send ships to the Chinchas and Peru for 
guano. He eventually turned over his shijjbuilding 
business to his brothers John and Alexander, but 
retained his interest in some of the ships. 



DUTHIE'S SHIPS 141 

The first of Duthie's ships of which I have any 
record is the Jane Pirie, of 427 tons, built in 1847 for 
the Calcutta trade and commanded by a well-known 
skipper of those days, Captain James Booth. 

The next vessel to be launched by Duthie was 
the Brilliant in 1850. She measured 555 tons, and, 
commanded by Captain Murray and sailing under 
Duthie's house-flag, she became a very popular 
passenger clipper in the time of the gold rush. 
On her first outward passage she went from London 
to Melbourne in 87 days, and this was about her 
average. She generally loaded wool for the London 
market at Geelong, and made the homeward run in 
under 90 days. 

Few ships came home from the Antipodes in those 
days without gold dust on board; and the Brilliant 
on one occasion brought home 7 tons of gold, giving 
Captain Murray an anxious time until he had it safely 
handed over to the Bank of England. After a dozen 
years as a first class passenger and wool clipper the 
Brilliant was debased to the guano and nitrate trades, 
being finally lost at sea when homeward bound from 
Callao with a cargo of guano. 

The next of Duthie's ships was the James Booth, of 
636 tons, named after the celebrated captain.. She 
was launched in 1851 for the Calcutta trade. 

In 1852 Duthie built the Ballarat, 713 tons, for 
the great shipowner Duncan Dunbar. The Ballarat 
distinguished herself by coming home from Melbourne 
in 69 days in 1855. All these early ships had the 
famous Aberdeen clipper bow and painted ports, and 
ably maintained the high reputation of the Aberdeen 
clipper. 

In the sixties Messrs. Duthie launched the following 



142 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

well-known wool clippers, all called after various 
members of the family : — 

1862 William Duthie wood ship .. .. 968 tons. 

1863 Martha Birnie ,. .... .. 832 „ 

I86i John Duthie 1031 „ 

ISGl Alexander Duthie „ „ .. .. 1159 „ 

1868 Ann Duthie ., „ .. .. 994 ., 

The ships were all three skysail yarders, and good 
passage makers; they were kept almost entirely in the 
Sydney trade, and must have made good dividends 
in those early days. The John Duthie on one occasion 
made £5000 freight for the wool passage home. Her 
commander at that time was Captain Levi, a very well- 
known character, who always offered a glass of Scotch 
and an apple to any visitor who came aboard his ship. 

The next Duthie ship was the Abergeldie, of 1152 
tons. She was their first ship with iron in her com- 
position, having iron beams. She was launched in 
1869, the same year as the Windsor Castle, a beautiful 
little wood ship of 979 tons, which Duthie built for 
Donaldson Rose. This Windsor Castle must not be 
confused with Green's Blackwall frigate of the same 
name. For some years both ships were trading to 
Sydney, and one year there was more than a little 
confusion owing to the two Windsor Castles arriving 
out on the same day. Duthie 's Windsor Castle made 
many fine passages both out and home, her best known 
commander being Captain Fernie. After being sold 
her name was changed to Lumberman's Lassie, and 
under this name she was for many years a well-known 
Colonial trader, and finally a coal hulk 

Passages of Aberdeen Ships to Sydney, 1872-1873. 

The best passage made out to Sydney between these 
dates was that of the iron tea clipper Hallozveen on her 



ABERDEEN SHIPS 



143 



maiden voyage. She left the Thames on 1st July, 1872, 
crossed the line in 27° W. on the 20th, 19 days out, 
crossed the meridian of the Cape on 10th August, 40 
days out, ran her easting down in 42° and arrived in 
Sydney on 8th September, 69 days out. 

Another very famous Aberdeen ship, the Star of 
Peace, left London, 21st September, 1873, and arrived 
at Melbourne on 16th December, 86 days out. 

This little table will perhaps give a good idea of the 
usual passages made by the wood and composite built 
ships. 



Ship 


Sailed 


Crossed 
Equator 


in 
Long. 


Crossed 
Meridian 
of Cape 


Ran 
Easting 
Down 
in Lat. 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 




1872 




o 


•■ 






Thyaiira 


Feb. 23 


Mar. 20 


22 W 


April 25 


42 S 


May 23 


89 


Ann Duthie . . 


Mar. 5 


., 25 


27 


— 


48 


,, 24 


80 


Ascalon 


5 


April 2 


23 


April 30 


41 


June 7 


94 


Maid of Judah 


.. 21 


.. 18 


22 


May 21 


— 


,. 23 


94 


Centurion 


April 18 


May 10 


22 


June 8 


39 


July 5 


78 


John Duthie 


June 4 


June 30 


27 


July 28 


42 


Aug. 29 


86 


Strathdon 


July 8 


Aug. 14 


26 


Sept. 9 


45 


Oct. 25 


109 


William Duthie 


,.' 16 


., 17 


27 


„ 15 


44 


.. 31 


107 


Ethiopian 


.. 25 
1873 


.. 29 


21 


— 


— 


„ 31 


98 


Harlaw 


Feb. 6 


Feb. 25 


23 


Mar. 22 


45 


April 29 


83 


Nineveh 


,. 11 


Mar. 8 


21 


April 3 


44 


May 1 


79 


Auiemore 


Mar. 14 


,. 29 


23 


May 28 


45 


June 4 


82 


A bergeldie 


July 7 


— 


— 


Sept. 1 


42 


Oct. 2 


87 



The South Australian Trade. 

During the sixties and seventies, when Sydney 
and Melbourne were filling their harbours with the 
finest ships in the British Mercantile Marine, Adelaide, 
in a smaller way, was carrying on an ever increasing 
trade of her own, in which some very smart little clippers 
were making very good money and putting up sailing 
records which could well bear comparison with those 



144 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

made by the more powerful clippers sailing to Hobson's 
Bay and Port Jackson. 

From the early fifties South Australia had been 
sending wool home in exchange for general cargoes 
from London. 

This trade was in the hands of two or three well-run 
firms, such as the Orient, Devitt & Moore and Elder. 
These firms owned some beautiful little composite 
ships, which up till now have received scant notice in 
the annals of our Mercantile Marine. These little 
clippers, most of them well under 1000 tons register, 
were driven as hard as any Black Ball or White Star 
crack, and this without the incentive of publicity. 

Their captains, however, were always in keen rivalry 
and put a high value on their reputations as desperate 
sail carriers. They made little of weather that would 
have scared men who commanded ships of three times 
the tonnage of the little Adelaide clippers, and they 
were not afraid of a little water on deck— indeed, when 
running down the easting, their ships were more like 
half -tide rocks than merchant vessels, being swept 
from end to end by every roaring sea ; and even in only 
a fresh breeze their decks were hidden by a curtain of 
spray . 

It was a common saying that they took a dive on 
leaving the tropics, came up to breathe at the Cape and 
did not reappear again till off Cape Borda. A South 
Australian trader prided himself on carrying a main 
topgallant sail when other ships were snugged down to 
reefed topsails; and he considered that he had made a 
bad passage if he was not up with Cape Borda in 70 days. 
Indeed he usually began to look for the Australian coast 
about the 60th day out, and if he was at sea for much 
longer than that without raising the land would begin 



SOUTH AUSTRALIAN TRADE 145 

to think that he had overrun his distance and got into 
the Gulf of St. Vincent. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that the crews of these 
vessels rarely knew what it was to have a dry shirt on 
their backs, and usually had had more than enough of it 
by the time they were off Kangaroo Island; thus it 
was the general thing for them to run on arrival. 

The late Mr. Barry wrote the following interesting 
account of the usual homeward bound crew on a South 
Australian wool clipper: — **They loaded some of the 
golden fleece at the Port and the rest perhaps at Port 
Augusta at the head of Spencer's Gulf. There one 
could see at times quite a clump of pretty little clippers 
lying in the stream between the mangrove-clad shores, 
waiting for the camel trains to come in from Pekina 
and Coonatto and Mount Remarkable. Much rivalry 
there was too between the ships, as to which should 
get her hatches battened down first, complete her crew 
and clear away for the February wool sales. And 
men in those days were not always easy to procure, 
for the long, cold Cape Horn passage and the prospect of 
shipping again out of London at 50s. per month were 
not very tempting experiences . Thus it often happened 
crews ran in Port Adelaide and * runners' or temporary 
hands, just shipped for the trip, had to be engaged to 
take the vessel round to Port Augusta. These returning 
by the Penola or the Royal Shepherd or the Aldinga 
left the shipmasters to trust in providence for men to 
work the vessels home. But, now and again, bushmen 
coming down country for a spree at *the Port', a mere 
hamlet, consisting then mainly of gnats, sand and 
galvanized iron, would be induced, once their money 
was gone, to sign articles for the trip home. Men who 
had never thouijht to use the sea again, bullock drovers, 



146 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

boundary riders, shepherds and station hands of every 
description were thus often found on board the clippers 
of the composite wool fleet. Many of them had not 
been to sea for years ; but before they had got the smell 
of ice in their nostrils all the old tricks of the craft 
came back to them and better crowds no skipper could 
wish for, if at times apt to be a little intolerant and 
careless of discipline, with the liberal life of the bush 
so close behind them. 

* * A hard experience, too, it generally proved for them , 
quite unprovided as they (for the most part) were with 
a sea -going outfit of any description and dependent 
on the often scantily supplied slop chest. And many 
a time when washing along the decks in icy Cape Horn 
seas or hoisting the frozen canvas aloft, while hail 
and rain pelted and soaked them, poorly fed, poorly 
clad, the merest sport of the bitter southern weather, 
they regretted with oaths deep and sincere their snug 
bunks and * all night in' of the far away bush stations, 
where tempests troubled them not and the loud command 
of *all hands' was unknown. Nor, as a rule, London 
Town once reached, did they lose any time in looking 
for a ship bound to some part of the country they had 
so foolishly left.'* 

The Orient Line. 

Of the firms which were chiefly instrumental in 
exploiting the South Australian trade first mention 
should perhaps be made of the Orient Line of clippers, 
the forerunners of the present Orient Line of steamers. 
The Orient Line was originally started by James 
Thompson & Co., who had a number of small ships and 
barques trading to the West Indies, then Mr. James 
Anderson joined the firm and eventually became head 



THE ORIENT LINE 147 

partner, upon which the name was changed to Anderson, 
Anderson & Co. 

The first of the firm's Australian ships was the Orient 
and this vessel gave her name to the line. 

The Orient Line were nothing if not enterprising. 
Most of their vessels were built in the Nelson Docks, 
Rotherhithe, to the designs of Mr. Bilbe. Mr. Bilbe 
was a designer of great ability and he and Mr. Perry, 
an old shipmaster, were the working partners of the 
Nelson Dock, which consisted of a dry dock and a 
building yard, owned by Anderson, Anderson & Co. Mr. 
James Anderson had a wonderful knowledge of every- 
thing pertaining to ships and their business, and like 
many an old-fashioned shipowner took a practical 
interest in his ships, and nothing either in their design, 
construction or management was undertaken without 
his approval. 

Messrs. Bilbe & Perry built one of the earliest com- 
posite clippers, the Red Riding Hood, She was launched 
in 1857 some six years before the first of the composite 
tea clippers. They also went in for iron ships at an 
early date, their first iron ship, the White Eagle, being 
built as far back as 1855. But owing chiefly to a very 
ill-advised strike of shipwrights, the Thames builders 
found themselves unable to compete with the North 
in iron shipbuilding and the Clyde took the trade 
which should have belonged to the Thames. Thus 
1866 saw the last of the Thames composites to be built 
in the Nelson Dock when Argonaut was launched for the 
Adelaide trade. 

However, Messrs. Anderson, Anderson & Co. meant 
to have the fastest ships procurable, and gave Hall, of 
Aberdeen, Steel, of Greenock and the Sunderland 
shipyards each a chance to turn them out a flyer. 



148 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The ** Orient." 

The Orient, the pioneer of the line, was launched 
at Rotherhithe in 1853, and measured: — 

Registered tonnage . . . , •' 1033 tons. 

Length 184.4 feet. 

Beam 31.7 „ 

Depth 21.1 „ 

She was built to participate in the gold boom to 
Melbourne, and was fitted to carry passengers under a 
poop 61 feet long. However she was not destined to 
start life on the Australian run, for she had barely 
been launched before she was taken up by the Govern- 
ment for the transport of troops to the Crimea. At 
the landing at Alma in September, 1854, she was 
transport No . 78 , carrying the 88th Connaught Rangers . 
She managed to ride out the gale of the 14th November, 

1854, off Balaclava, in which 34 of the Allied ships 
were wrecked and over 1000 lives lost . And in October, 

1855, we find her acting as a hospital ship during the 
expedition against Kinburn and Odessa. In 1856 
she returned to London and was then put on the berth 
for Adelaide. She sailed from Plymouth under Captain 
A. Lawrence on the 5th July, 1856, with a full passenger 
list, and hence forward was a favourite passenger ship 
in the South Australian trade. 



*» Orient's" Outward Passages. 

The following table gives her time out for twenty- 
one voyages under the Orient flag. She generally took 
about 95 days coming home via the Cape, calling in 
at Capetown and St. Helena, as it was the custom 
with si lips carrying passengers. 



ORIENT'S OUTWARD PASSAGES 



149 



Date. 


Captain. 


Date Left 
London. 


Date Left 
Plymouth. 


Date Arrd. 

Port 
Adelaide. 


Days 
Out. 


1856 


A. Lawrence 


June 


28 


July 5 


Sept. 24 


81 


1857 






28 


2 


22 


82 


1858 






28 


4 


18 


76 


1859 


" 




28 


2 


23 


83 


1860 




May 


29 


June 5 


Aug. 24 


80 


1861 






26 


1 


20 


80 


1862 


Harris 




27 


2 


24 


83 


1863 


,, 


— 




May 1 


July 12 


73 


1864 


^j 


May 


29 


June 2 


Aug. 22 


81 


1865 


,, 


April 


29 


May 4 


July 20 


77 


1866 


j^ 


Sept. 


10 


Sept. 16 


Nov. 27 


72 


1868 


R. de Steiger 


Oct. 


31 


Nov. 6 


Jan. 26 


81 


1869 


,, 


Aug. 


29 


Sept. 1 


Nov. 24 


84 


1870 


^^ 


Sept. 


17 


22 


Dec. 17 


86 


1871 




Aug. 


28 


2 


Nov. 27 


86 


1872 


W. H!'Mitchell 


Nov. 


4 


Nov. 7 


Jan. 27 


81 


1873 


,, 


Sept. 


28 


— 


Dec. 16 


79 


1874 




July 


25 


Downs 27 


Oct. 19 


84 


1875 


^^ 




22 


Downs 25 


16 


83 


1876 


M. Haffner 


^^ 


23 


— 


11 


80 


1877 


" 


Aug. 


21 


— 


Dec. 3 


104 



••Orient" Nearly Destroyed by Fire. 

On Jyd November, 1861, the Orient left Adelaide 
with 2600 bales of wool, some copper ore and several 
passengers. Touching at the Cape she left Table Bay 
on 18th December. On the morning of 2nd January, 
smoke was observed to be rising from the fore hatch. 
Captain Lawrence at once had the lower deck hatches 
lifted fore and aft, but there was no smoke in the hold, 
which seemed to prove that the fire was confined to 
the 'tween decks. The hands were turned to breaking 
out cargo, but were driven from the fore hold after 
getting to the third beam aft of the hatchway. The 
mainsail was then hauled up and the fore hatches put 
on to prevent a current of air. The main hatchway 
was then opened and an attempt made to break out the 



k. 



150 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

cargo from that hatch, but again the crew were driven 
back. The hatches were next battened down and 
every aperture closed . The carpenter was then ordered 
to bore holes in the deck. He started in the galley 
and gradually worked forward until he was over the 
seat of the fire. On this being found the fire engine, 
condensing engine and every other means was brought 
into use for pouring water below; and as fast as it 
went down it was sucked up again by the ship's 
pumps . The deck ports and scupper holes , also , were 
closed and the deck itself kept some inches deep in 
water . 

Whilst the crew fought the fire, the passengers, 
under the direction of the bosun, provisioned and 
lowered the boats and streamed them astern. At 
5 p.m. dense smoke began to issue from the scuttJe 
under the fore chains, the woodwork was charred, and 
the glass bull's-eye melted. The scuttles were immed- 
iately plugged and the deck cut through at this place . The 
result was startling. Smoke and flames burst out in 
volumes. All night long the crew kept doggedly at the 
pumps and fire engine. Next day the women passengers 
were all transferred to a Dutch ship which stood by the 
burning Orient. At last the fire was smothered and on the 
5th January the Orient arrived at Ascension, where a large 
portion of the cargo was taken out and examined. She 
was temporarily repaired and then proceeded, and arrived 
safely in the London River. 

Twelve of her timbers were so charred that they 
had to be replaced, together with the planking of the 
main deck as far aft as the main hatch. The saving 
of this ship was a very fine performance and the under- 
writers presented Captain Lawrence with a piece of 
plat*^ worth £100, and also J^800 for himself, officers 



ORIENT AND LAMMERMUIR 151 

and crew. The steadiness and discipline of both 
passengers and crew were worthy of all praise, and 
undoubtedly saved the ship. 

The ** Orient" delivers her Carpenter's Chest 
to the **Laninierniuir" in Mid-Ocean. 

In 1872 the Orient was diagonally sheathed, 
and Captain Mitchell took command of her. 

In 1873 the Orient was just about to leave London 
for Adelaide, when old John Willis, with his frock-coat 
flying open and his white hat on the back of his head, 
came aboard and said to Captain Mitchell: '*The 
carpenter of my Lammermuir has left his tool chest 
and tools behind; will you take them out to Adelaide 
and deliver them to him." 

** No," replied Captain Mitchell, who was a skipper 
of the good old sort, " but I will take them and deliver 
them before I reach the line." 

The Lammermuir had sailed some 10 days before 
on the 12th of September to be exact. Old John 
Willis immediately offered to bet Captain Mitchell 
£5 that he would not be as good as his word. The 
bet was accepted and the Orient sailed on 28th September. 
In 5° N. a ship was sighted ahead and overhauled. 
It turned out to be the Lammermuir, Signals were 
exchanged, and a boat put over with the chest on 
board, and the Lammermuir 's carpenter duly received 
his tools as Captain Mitchell had promised. The two 
ships then parted company and the Orient eventually 
arrived at Adelaide on the 16th December, 79 days 
out, the Lammermuir arriving six days later. 

It was a great triumph, and the apprentices of the 
Orient composed a pumping chanty to the tu^e of 



152 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

**Marching through Georgia'* to commemorate it, the 
first verse of which ran as follows : — 

The Lammermuir left London, boys, 

A fortnight's start she'd got. 

She was bound to Adelaide, 

Her passage to be short. 

But the Orient overhauled her 

Before halfway she'd got 

As we were sailing to Australia. 

In 1879 the Orient was sold to Cox Bros. , of Waterford, 
and she was still afloat quite recently as a coal hulk 
at Gibraltar. 

The Little *' Heather BelL" 

In 1855 Hall, of Aberdeen, built the little Heather 
Bell for Brown & Co., from whom the Orient Line 
bought her. Her measurements were — 

Registered tonnage . . . . 479 tons. 

Length 155 feet. 

Beam . . . . . . . . . . 28.5 ,, 

Depth 17.5 „ 

She was not one of the South Australian traders, 
however, but ran regularly to Sydney and Melbourne. 
She made herself famous by a wonderful run home from 
Melbourne under Captain William Harmsworth. She 
left Port Phillip Heads on 15th October, 1856, with a 
strong easterly wind and took the route down the West 
Coast of Tasmania. In spite of five days of easterly 
gales, she made the passage to the Horn in 26 days. 
The record for this run was made by the Lightning in 
1854, being 19 days. Heather Bell ran from the Horn 
to the line in 21 days. This was a record, and con- 
sidered such a remarkable performance that it was 
pricked off on old South Atlantic charts. And so far 
as I know, it has only been twice beaten, once by the 
Cutty Sark and once by the Thomas Stephens, Heather 



HEATHER BELL AND MURRAY 153 

Bell made the land at Start Point 20 days from the 
line, thus making a passage of 67 days. Her best 
24 -hour run was 330 miles, and her best week's work 
was 1885 miles. Of course she had great luck with 
her winds, but, even so, she proved herself a very 
speedy little ship. 

Heather Bell had a long life of 39 years, and was 
finally broken up at Balmain, Sydney, in 1894. 

The •' Murray." 

Another Adelaide passenger ship belonging 
to Anderson was the Murray. She was built by Hall, 
of Aberdeen, in 1861, being the last Orient liner to be 
built entirely of wood. Her measurements were: — 

Registered tonnage . . . . 903 tons. 

Length of keel 180 feet. 

Beam 33.3 .. 

Depth 20.8 .. 

She had a long floor with sharp ends, and, whilst 
fitted with every convenience for passengers, she carried 
a very large cargo on a very small draught . 

The Murray was considered a fast ship, her best 
day's run being 325 miles, but I can best show her 
capabilities as to speed by recalling a race which she 
sailed with the well-known Blackwall frigate Hotspur, 

The two ships, as was usual with passengers on 
board, had called in at Capetown ; and they left 
Table Bay together. Then with stunsails set alow and 
aloft they were 11 days in company running down to 
St . Helena . In 26° N . they again met and were six days 
in company, finally they made the Channel within a 
day of each other, the Hotspur leading. 

Regarding this race, the late Captain Whall, who 
was OP board the Hotspur, says of the run to St. Helena: 



154 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



"The wind was steady, and the two ships seemed so 
nearly matched that for hours together our bearings 
did not alter." 

Under the well-known Captain Legoe, the Murray 
made the following fine passages out from Plymouth : — 

1861 Left Plymouth, July 26, arrived Adelaide Oct. 16 — 82 days out. 

1862 „ „ „ 13. „ „ Sept. 30— 79 

1863 „ „ „ 15. „ ,. Sept. 26—73 

(68 days to the Borda) . 

1864 Left Plymouth, Aug. 6, arrived Adelaide Oct. 21—77 days out. 

The Orient Composite Clippers. 

It was during the sixties that the Orient Line 
came to be known in Australia for the remarkable speed 
of its beautiful little composite clippers, consisting of: — 



Date Built 


Ship 


Tonnage 


Builders. 


1863 
1864 
1864 
1865 
1865 
1866 


Coonatto 

Goohva 

Borealis 

Darra 

Yatala 

Argonant 


633 

717 

920 

999 

1127 

1073 


Bilbe, of London 
Hall, of Aberdeen 
Bilbe, of London 
Hall, of Aberdeen 
Bilbe, of London 



The Coonatto'* s measurements were — Length 160 ft. 
2 in.; beam 29 ft.; depth 18 ft. 7 in. She was an 
out and out clipper with very fine lines, but like most 
of Bilbe 's ships — very wet. However this may in 
part be put down to the hard -driving of her skipper, 
Begg, a Highlander, who never spared her and made 
some very smart passages out and home . Her best run 
to the Semaphore Lightship was 66 days, and she once 
did a 70 -day passage out after broaching to off St. 
Paul's Island and losing both helmsmen and the wheel 
itself overboard. This famous little ship stranded on 
Beachy Head in 1876, 




" PEKINA " and " COONATTO," at Port Adelaide, 1867. 







"JOHN DUTHIE," at Circular Quay, Sydneyr ' 



[To face page 154. 



I 



THE YATALA 



156 



The Darra also went out to Adelaide in under 70 days , 
on which occasion her captain wrote home that she 
** dived off the Cape and came up to blow off the 
Leeuwin." 

•' Yatala.'' 

Probably the fastest of the six was the fine 
passenger clipper Yatala, which the redoubtable Captain 
Legoe left the Murray to command. The record from 
London to Adelaide, pilot to pilot, 65 days, was shared 
by the Yatala and Devitt & Moore's clipper City of 
Adelaide until the famous Torrens beat it. 

Unfortunately, Yatala came to an early end, and 
the following are the times of her outward passages 
during her short existence : — 



Date. 


Left Plymouth 


Arrived Adelaide. 


Days Out 

1 


1865 


Aug. 4 


Oct. 27 


84 


1866 


2 


14 


73 


1867 


10 


15 


66 


1868 


July 9 


Sept. 24 


77 


1869 


Aug. 7 


Oct. 23 


77 


1870 


11 


26 


76 


1871 


July 6 


2 


88 



On 18th December, 1871, Yatala left Adelaide in 
company with the Elder Line clipper, Beltana, which 
she led to the Horn by a day The Beltana arrived 
safely after a tedious light weather run from the line, 
but the Yatala got ashore near Cape Gris-Nez on 27th 
March, 1872, when almost in sight of home. Her 
wool cargo was nearly all saved, but the ship herself 
became a total loss. 

Of the other Orient composites, the Gooltva dis- 
appeared from the Register in 1880, but Borealis and 
Argonaut lasted some years longer. 



156 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The " Beltana," and Captain Richard Angel, 

The Beltana, which raced the Yatala in 1871-2, 
was a composite clipper, belonging to A. L . Elder & Co., 
a well-known firm in the Adelaide trade and the agents 
for the celebrated Torrens. Built by Laing, of Sunder- 
land, in 1869, the Beltana measured: — 

Registered tonnage . . . . . . . . 734 tons. 

Length 172.5 feet. 

Beam 33.6 ,, 

Depth .. 19.2 ,, 

She was a beautiful little ship, a fine sea boat with 
a good turn of speed. In 1872, when running her 
easting down, she did a day's work of 335 miles under 
foresail, three lower topsails and fore topmast staysail. 
She made her reputation as a heeler under Captain 
Richard Angel, a sail carrier of the most determined 
character, as the following anecdote will prove. 

The Beltana was rounding the Horn, homeward 
bound and reeling along before a heavy westerly gale 
under topgallant sails, when a vessel was sighted 
ahead, head -reaching under three close-reefed topsails, 
though bound the same way as the Beltana. Angel, 
to show his contempt of such caution, immediately 
bore down on the stranger, and passing ahead of him, 
put his helm down and brought his yards on the back- 
stays. As the Beltana came up to the wind, she lay 
right down until the amazed crew of the stranger could 
almost see her keel, and momentarily expected to see 
her capsize or her masts go overboard. But the little 
ship bore this harsh treatment in the bravest manner, 
and, though her rail was fathoms deep in the scud to 
leeward, never stranded a ropeyarn. Having crossed 
the stranger's bows, Angel rounded to close under her 
stern, then squared his yards and raced ahead again . This 




TORRENS. 




" TORRENS " at Port Adelaide. 



J 



THE BELTANA 157 

manoeuvre of * * sailing round a vessel" was not one that 
most men would care to attempt in Cape Horn weather. 

Indeed, hardly was the Beltana on her course again 
before Angel's trembling mate approached his captain 
with a request to be allowed to shorten sail, only to 
be met by the scornful order of: — **Get the royals on 
her; and then, if you can't find anything else to set, 
go below and ask Mrs . Angel to lend you her petticoat . ' * 
Such an order was worthy of Bully Forbes himself. 

Captain Richard ^ngel lost the command of the 
Beltana on the voyage that she raced the Yatala, 
On his passage out he ran the Beltana ashore on 
Kangaroo Island, but got her off and did not report 
the accident. He loaded wool at Port Augusta, but 
on getting to sea the ship leaked so much that he had 
to take her in to Port Adelaide. Here the wool was 
discharged, and the Beltana hauled up on the slip and 
repaired, whilst Angel got his dismissal and a Captain 
Blanch took his place. Beltana caught fire when 
loading wool in Port Lyttelton, and her end was one 
of the biggest ship fires in New Zealand. 

The Wonderful **Torrens." 

Of other ships managed by Elder & Co. , the most 
noteworthy were the Glen Osmond, Collingrove and 
Torrens, Of these the Torrens requires special mention, 
as she was witho\it doubt one of the most successful 
ships ever built, besides being one of the fastest, and 
for many years she was the favourite passenger ship 
to Adelaide. She was built in 1875 by James Laing, 
of Sunderland, and launched in October of that year, 
her chief measurements being : — 

Registered tonnage . . . . . . . . 1276 tons. 

Length 222.1 feet. 

Beam 38.1 „ 

Depth 21.6 „ 



158 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

She was composite built with teak planking and 
was specially designed for carrying passengers, having 
a poop 80 feet long. 

A beautifully modelled ship and a splendid sea boat, 
she was very heavily sparred and crossed a main skysail 
yard . She was also one of the last ships to hold on to 
fore topmast stunsails ; indeed for years she was the 
only ship with stunsail booms aloft in the Australian 
trade . 

Regarding her capabilities as a sea boat, in easting 
weather she would drive along as dry as a bone, making 
300 miles a day without wetting her decks. But it 
was in light winds that she showed up best, her ghosting 
powers being quite extraordinary. The flap of her 
sails sent her along 2 or 3 knots, and in light airs she 
was accustomed to pass other clippers as if they were 
at anchor. 

Commander Harry Shrubsole, R.N.R., in a letter to 
the Nautical Magazine, gives the following interesting 
reminiscences of her wonderful speed. 

Some items of one of her passages are worth noting. Crossed the 
equator in 15 days from Plymouth; arrived off Semaphore, Port 
Adelaide, 61 days from Plymouth. The last two days were employed 
in beating up the Gulf from the western end of Kangaroo Island, I 
forget the name of the point we made, so 69 days could easily be counted 
as the passage. 

We sighted the Jennie Harkness, obviously American, at daylight 
right ahead in the S.E. trades; at noon we were alongside her, and our 
Foo-Foo band played " Yankee-Doodle " as we passed her. She had 
Jimmy Greens and water-sails, flying jib topsails and what not aloft, 
and we slid by her as if she was — well — sailing slowly, as she undoubtedly 
was, compared to our speed. We passed a large ship running the 
easting down. She was under upper topgallant sails, whilst we were 
under upper topsails with weather upper and lower stunsails set. The 
old ship was never driven; she did not need it, neither would she stand 
it. But she sailed rings round anything sighted. To sight a ship to 
windward and ahead, on a wind, was to ensure the tautening of the 
weather braces, an order to sail a bit finer and to see her passing ahead 



THE TORRENS 159 

and to windward of that ship by the early afternoon. We did this 
with a four-master, the Amazon, and I bear a scar on my eyebrow 
to-day in memory of that ship — merely a small argument about her 
name. In the case of the Jennie Harkness, I was the " leadin' 'and " 
ol the Foo-Foo band and can picture the incident now in all its features. 

Captain H. R. Angel, who had previously commanded 
the Glen Osmond and Collingrove , was the chief owner 
of the Torrens, and had a great say in her design ; and 
after overlooking her building he took her from the 
stocks and commanded her for 15 voyages. Under 
him she was a wonderfully lucky ship and a great 
deal of the credit for her success undoubtedly belonged 
to Captain Angel. 

Her biggest run in the 24 hours was 336 miles; and 
her fastest speed through the water by the log was 14 
knots. Her average for 15 outward passages under 
Captain Angel was 74 days from Plymouth to the 
Semaphore, Port Adelaide. Captain Angel always 
brought her into the St. Vincent's Gulf via the Back- 
stairs Passage, east of Kangaroo Island, instead of 
through Investigators' Straits. On the homeward 
passage he always took the Cape route, for the benefit 
of his passengers, calling in at Capetown, St. Helena 
and Ascension. 

To show the extraordinary way in which luck clung 
to the Torrens as long as Captain H. R. Angel com- 
manded her, I will give the following instance, given 
me by Captain Angel himself. 

On a certain homeward passage, the lamp oil ran 
short or was lost through some mismanagement. This 
caused Captain Angel to grow very anxious as the 
Torrens approached the mouth of the English Channel, 
in whose narrow crowded waters lights are naturally 
of the utmost importance. But before soundings were 
reached a barrel was passed, floating on the water. 



160 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Angel at once hove his ship to and lowered a boat, 
picked the barrel up and took it aboard — and, on being 
opened, it was found to contain oil. 

As commodore of the Elder Line, Captain Angel flew 
a white flag with red crescent and stars at the masthead 
of the Torrens, instead of the ordinary house-flag with 
red ground, white crescent and stars. 

In the autumn of 1890 Captain Angel retired from 
the sea and handed over the Torrens to Captain Cope. 
With the change of captain, the Torrens luck deserted 
her. On her first passage out under her new commander 
the Torrens lost her foremast and main topmast in 
6° N., 27° W., and put into Pernambuco to refit; and 
before she was refitted she caught fire. However, 
the fire was put out, she was remasted and she eventually 
reached Adelaide 179 days out. 

Whilst Captain Cope had her, the Torrens had the 
honour of having Joseph Conrad as mate for a voyage. 
This was in 1893, and Conrad made two important 
literary friendships whilst on the Torrens y for W. H. 
Jacques made the voyage in her and Galsworthy was a 
passenger from Adelaide to Capetown. 

In 1896 Captain F. Angel, the son of Captain H. R. 
Angel, took over the command of the Torrens, and 
again the Goddess of Fortune objected to the change. 
On his third voyage, young Angel ran foul of an iceberg 
in the Southern Ocean; and with her bow stove in 
and partially dismasted, the Torrens managed to 
struggle into Adelaide, for the second time in her 
career over 100 days out. 

Her last passage, also, under the British flag was a 
disastrous one. She left Adelaide on 23rd April, 1903, 
and before she was clear of Kangaroo island a storm 
burst on her and she had difficulty in clawing off the 



THE TORRENS 101 

land. Then when she got down to the Cape latitudes 
another heavy gale forced her back towards Mauritius. 
However, at last she got into Table Bay. She had 
little cargo from Adelaide on board, and as no cargo 
was offering at Capetown, she went on to St. Helena, 
and took in a load of explosives for the British Govern- 
ment — ammunition, etc., returning from the Boer 
war. But even when the Thames tug had got her 
hawser, the dangers of this passage were not over, 
for whilst the Torrens was in tow a vessel tried to 
pass ahead of her, between her and the tug, and was 
cut down and sunk by the sharp forefoot of the famous 
clipper. When the collision was seen to be unavoidable 
there was almost a panic on the Torrens, owing to her 
cargo of explosives. However nothing happened, the 
Torrens was uninjured and Captain Angel was not 
held to blame. 

But old Captain Angel had had enough of it — her 
cost for repairs since he had given her up had come 
to more than her original cost to build; and he sold 
her to the Italians. 

"Torrens' " Outward Passages. 

When inspecting Torrens'' wonderful times, two 
things in her favour must be remembered, firstly 
that she sailed from England at the most favourable 
time in the year, and secondly that, carrying passengers, 
she was always in perfect trim. On the other hand, 
everything was done to make the passengers comfortable, 
especially as many of them were invalids or consump- 
tives going for the benefit of the voyage, thus she was 
never driven as she might have been. 

With the change of ownership as with the change 
of skippers, evil luck again struck the celebrated old 

G 



162 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



ship, for the Italians soon ran her ashore and after 
getting her off again sent her to Genoa to be broken up. 
But when the Genoese shipbreakers saw the beauty of 
her model and construction, they went to the expense 
of repairing her, only to again bump her on the rocks. 
This time she was towed back to Genoa for good and all, 
and was broken up in 1910. 



Captain. 


Date Left 


Date Left 


Date Arrived 


Days 


London. 


Plymouth 


Adelaide 


Out. 


H. K. Angel 


Dec. 8. 


1875 j Dec. 12. 1875 


Mar. 


7. 


1876 


85 


,, 


Oct. 26. 


1876 1 Oct. 29, 1876 


Jan. 


18. 


1877 


81 






, 27. 


1877 'Nov. 4, 1877 




11. 


1878 


68 




> 


. 26, 


1878 1 „ 2. 1878 




18, 


1879 


77 






. 26. 


1879 


Oct. 30. 1879 




8, 


1880 


70 






. 28. 


1880 


Nov. 2, 1880 


,, 


6. 


1881 


65 


" 




. 27. 


1881 


Oct. 29, 1881 




8, 


1882 


71 






. 26. 


1882 


.. 29, 1882 




16. 


1883 


79 






. 27. 


1883 


„ 29, 1883 




7, 


1884 


70 


1 




. 26. 


1884 


Nov. 2, 1884 




25. 


1885 


84 


.. 




, 27. 


1885 


1. 1885 


\^ 


8. 


1886 


68 






. 28, 


1886 


2. 1886 




15, 


1887 


74 






. 27, 


1887 


8. 1887 




14. 


1888 


67 






, 27, 


1888 


1. 1888 




14. 


1889 


74 






. 30, 


1889 


7, 1889 




26, 


1890 


80 1 


W. H'.'Cope 




. 29, 


1890 


Dismasted 


Apri 


126, 


1891 


179 









Nov. 25. 1891 


Feb. 


28, 


1892 


95 




Oct. 25, 


1892 1 — 


Jan. 


30, 


1893 


97 




Nov. 3, 


1893 ! — 




26, 


1894 


84 




Oct. 14, 


1894 1 — 


,, 


13, 


1895 


91 1 




Sept. 18. 


1895 i — 


Dec. 


6, 


1895 


79 


F. Angel 


Oct. 26, 


1896 


Left Downs 
Oct. 28 


Jan. 


11. 


1897 


75 \ 


,, 


.. 30, 


1897 




,, 


16. 


1898 


11 


„ 


.. 25. 


1898 


Struck Iceberg 


Feb. 


5. 


1899 


103 i 




.. 31. 


1899 ' — 


Feb. 


5, 


1900 


97 i 




.. 27. 


1900 Left Downs 
Oct. 30 


Jan. 


20, 


1901 


82 




» 24, 


1901 j — 


Feb. 


2, 


1902 


101 


" 


,. 26. 


1902 


Jan. 


17, 


1903 


83 



The Torrens, with the exception of the Lochs, was 
the last sailing ship to carry passengers. As a com- 
posite ship, built specially for passengers, she had no 
rival except Devitt & Moore's celebrated Soh'aon. 




SOBRAON." 




SOBRAON." 



To face page 163. 



THE SO BR AON 163 

The Great *'Sobraon." 

The Sobraon was built by Messrs. Hall, of 
Aberdeen, to the order of Lowther, Maxton & Co., the 
tea clipper owners, and launched in November, 1866. 
She was the largest composite ship ever built, being 
constructed of solid teak with iron beams and frames; 
she was copper fastened and classed 16 years Al. 
Her measurements were: — 

Registered tonnage .. .. .. .. 2131 tons. 

Burthen 3500 

Length over all .. .. .. 317 feet. 

Length between perpendiculars . . . . 272 

Beam 40 ., 

Depth of hold 27 ,. 

Her lower masts were of wroUght iron, and her 
topmasts and lower yards on each mast of steel. On her 
first two voyages she carried skysails, but these were 
found to make her rather crank and so were done away 
with. In the eighties she followed the fashion and was 
fitted with double topgallant yards on her fore and main 
masts. With all sail set, she had a spread of just 2 
acres of canvas. 

Mr. A. G. Elms lie, who served in her for 11 years 
under his father, from apprentice to chief officer, gave 
me the following account of her sailing qualities : — 

A glance at the perfect lines of the ship in dry dock would be quite 
sufficient to show there was nothing to stop her going through the 
water, and I can honestly say that during my 1 1 years I never saw any 
other sailing ship pass her in a breeze either on a wind or before it. 
The fact of the Sobraon being first intenaed for an auxiliary steamer and 
having the two stern posts, the space between which was filled up with 
solid timber, gave her a perfect run, and her bows were as fine as any 
yacht's. Runs of over 300 knots when running down the easting were 
frequent. On one occasion over 1000 knots were covered in three days and 
over 2000 in a week. 340 knots in the 24 hours was the best run made. 
1 have seen over 1 6 knots reeled off by the log. This was with the wind 
some 2 or 3 points on the quarter, which was her best saiHng point. On 
a wind and sailing within 5^ points, she could do her 7 to 8 knots good. 



164 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

On her first five voyages from 1866 to 1871, Sobraon 
sailed to Sydney, and after that, from 1872 to 1891, to 
Melbourne, always returning via the Cape of Good 
Hope instead of the Horn. 

Her fastest trip to Sydney was 73 days and to Mel- 
bourne 68 days. On the latter passage she sighted Cape 
Otway on the morning of the 60th day out, but then had 
light variable winds, which spoilt what promised to be 
a 61 -day passage. 

Most of her outward passages were between 70 and 80 
days, but it must be remembered that she was never 
driven hard out of consideration for her passengers, 
or there is little doubt that she would have gone near 
to lowering the golden cock at Thermopylae's masthead. 
On her first voyage to Sydney in 1866-7, she went out 
in 75 days and came home in 78. 

Lowther & Maxton only owned her for a few years, 
and from the first she loaded as one of Devitt & Moore's 
monthly line of packets to Australia, the latter firm 
buying her outright about 1870. 

On her maiden voyage the Sobraon was commanded 
by Captain Kyle. In 1867 he was succeeded by Lieut. 
J. A. Elmslie, R.N.R., who had her for the rest of her 
active career, from 1867 to 1891, a period of 24 years. 

Captain Elmslie commenced his career in 1842 and 
for several years traded out to India and China and later 
to Australia in the well-known London ships La Tlogue 
and Parramatta. Prior to taking the Sobraon, he 
commanded the ill-fated Cospatrick, from 1863 to 1867, 
his brother, who was afterwards lost in her in 1873, 
succeeding him in the command of that ship. 

Captain Elmslie 's name was so closely and for so 
long associated with that of the Sobraon, that passengers 
were no doubt as much attracted by the one as by the 



THE SOBRAON 165 

other. In fact there were many instances in which 
they booked their passages solely on account of the 
name of the commander. Whilst being a strict dis- 
ciplinarian and respected by all who sailed under 
him, he was, at the same time, kindness itself and laid 
himself out on every occasion to study the interests of 
his passengers. The fact that the Sobraon never had 
anything approaching a serious loss of spars or sails 
may be safely put down to his never ceasing attention 
to the ship and the weather. He was always about, 
and his keen sense of watchfulness and duty readily 
imparted itself to his officers and crew. 

Captain Elms lie was elected a Younger Brother of 
the Trinity House on 1st September, 1868, and he would 
have been elected an Elder Brother many years before 
his death had he been eligible, but the fact of his never 
having served in steam barred him. 

No greater proof of the popularity of the Sobraon and 
her captain can be given than the length of time both 
officers and men stayed in her. James Cameron, who 
was foreman shipwright at the building of the Sobraon, 
served as carpenter on her during the whole time that 
the ship was afloat — service 1866-1891. 

Thomas Willoughby, formerly with Captain Elmslie 
in Cospatrick, from 1864 to 1867, transferred with his 
captain to the Sobraon and served throughout, first as 
butcher and later as chief steward — service 1866-1891. 

James Farrance served 16 years as A.B. and boat- 
swain. Thomas Routledge served 10 years as 
sailmaker. 

This length of service on the part of her petty officers 
is, I should think, easily a record. 

And amongst well-known seamen who learnt their 
craft in the Sobraon were — ■ 



166 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Captain R. Hoare, apprentice to chief officer, 1872- 
1882 (a commander in the Orient Line and Elder 
Brother of Trinity House). 

Captain F. Northey, apprentice to chief officer, 
1867-1869, and 1874-1882 (afterwards commanded the 
John Rennie). 

Captain A. E. Baker, apprentice to chief officer, 
1887 (afterwards commander in the P. & O.) 

Captain Elmslie also had his first and second sons 
with him. C. T. Elmslie, the eldest, as apprentice 
before going into the P. & O. and Captain A. G. 
Elmslie from apprentice to chief officer, 11 years from 
1880 to 1891. 

The Sobraon^s crew usually consisted of captain, 4 
officers, 8 apprentices, carpenter, sailmaker, boatswain, 
engineer, 2 boatswain's mates, 26 A.B.'s, 4 O.S.'s, 
2 boys, 16 stewards and 2 stewardesses — total all 
told =69. 

Only one voyage was made in each year, the sailing 
date from London always being the latter end of 
September and from Australia early in February. 

From her immense carrying capacity, the cargo was 
invariably a good source of revenue. Owing to her 
regular sailings there was never any difficulty in getting 
a full hold, and this applied especially to the homeward 
run, when her cargo consisted chiefly of wool and 
wheat. It was, however, as a crack passenger ship to 
Australia that the Sohraon was most celebrated as 
she never formed one of the fleet which raced home to 
be in time for the February wool sales. Indeed, on the 
homeward run she usually touched at Capetown and 
always at St. Helena, these breaks in the passage being 
very popular with passengers. 

At St. Helena the ship made a regular stay of about 



THE SOBRAON . 167 

three days, and this visit was as much looked forward to 
by the inhabitants of the island as by the Sohraon'*s 
passengers. As a rule about 100 tons of cargo, con- 
sisting of flour, corn, preserved meat, etc., were landed 
there and occasionally a few bullocks were taken there 
from Capetown. Whilst the Sohraon lay at St. Helena, 
the passengers roamed the Island, climbed the 699 
steps to the barracks, visited Longwood and Napoleon's 
tomb and generally enjoyed themselves. Captain 
Elmslie also made a habit of giving a fancy dress ball 
on board before leaving, to which all the elite of the 
Island were asked. 

Sohraon'' s passenger accommodation was unequalled 
for a sailing ship. She only had a s?iort poop, but her 
first class saloon reached from right aft to within 20 feet 
of the foremast, and was 200 feet in length. The 
second class saloon took up the remaining space in the 
'tween decks, with the exception of 20 feet in the eyes of 
the ship, which was bulkheaded off as a store room and 
sail locker. 

The number of first class passengers on the outward 
trip averaged close on 90, with 40 in the second saloon. 
There were generally a few less coming home. Owing 
to the good accommodation and to the fact that the 
voyages were timed for the finest climatic conditions, 
there were always a fair number of invalids booked and 
a good many of them made the round voyage. And 
there were many instances, also, of marvellous cures 
aboard the Sohraon. 

In her early days she took many notable people out 
to Australia. Lord and Lady Belmore and their suite 
went out in her, the former to take up the Governorship 
of New South Wales. It was on this voyage that the 
Duke of Edinburgh was in Sydney whilst the Sohraon 



16?5 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Jay there ; and it was at his request that she was made 
the flagship at the Sydney Regatta. Captain Elmslie 
had the honour of entertaining and being entertained by 
the Duke on several occasions, and on his return passage 
brought home numerous cases of curios collected by 
the Duke whilst in the East. 

On the next voyage the Sobraon took out Mr. Ducane, 
the new Governor of Tasmania, and his suite. 

Fresh food was obviously a necessity for the class 
of passenger carried, and the following live-stock were 
carried on each passage — 3 bullocks, 90 sheep, 50 pigs, 
3 cows for milking and over 300 geese, fowls and 
ducks. Fresh water and plenty of it was always pro- 
curable — a large condenser running every alternate day; 
there was an ice chamber, also, in which several tons of 
ice were stored. 

The Sobraon came through her 25 years' active service 
with singularly little damage at the hands of the 
elements. 

On making the African coast on the homeward run, 
she had the usual narrow shaves from being dismasted, 
which are experienced by all west -bound ships in that 
locality. The wind shifts from N.W. to S.W. in squalls 
accompanied by the most terrific thunder and lightning 
at this dreaded spot, and it is almost impossible for a 
close-hauled ship to avoid getting caught aback. 

The most serious storm experienced by the Sobraon 
was in 1889, when running her easting down. She was 
a little to the north of the Crozets, and it began to 
breeze up on a Sunday morning. The glass gave every 
indication of a real snorter, and by 4 p.m. had tumbled 
down to 27.75. By that time the Sobraon had been 
shortened down to foresail, lower fore topsail, upper 
fore topsail reefed, main lower topsail and fore topmast 



J 



THE SOBRAON 169 

staysail. The shift from N.W. to S.W. came at 5 
o'clock, and the yards were hardly round before the 
foresail went and in a few moments there was nothing 
left of it. The sea was running in mountainous ridges, 
an^ with the foresail gone threatened every moment to 
poop her badly. It was too late to heave to and the 
ship was kept away before it. After four hours' battling 
and over 30 men aloft a brand new foresail was bent 
and set reefed. This was hardly done before the fore 
upper topsail blew away. However, with the foresail 
reefed and two lower topsails the Sohraon fled before 
the blast like a startled deer. The squalls every few 
minutes were terrific and in spite of such short canvas 
the Sohraon was making over 14 knots an hour. 

The sea was all the time running higher and higher 
and breaking aboard in the most alarming fashion. 
During the night the greater portion of the bulwarks 
on the port side was carried away ; a boat in davits, 
hanging 22 feet above the water, was filled by a sea 
and disappeared, the davits breaking short off : the 
main skylight over the saloon was washed away and 
tons of water found its way below before the open 
space could be covered over. The amount of water 
in the saloon at this time can be imagined when pas- 
sengers were actually being washed off their feet. 
On deck there were many narrow escapes of men being 
washed overboard, the broken bulwarks being a great 
source of danger. The mate and three of the men 
were washed from the main fiferail to the break of the 
poop, and, after being dashed up against the heavy 
boarding which had been put up to protect the fore end 
of the poop, managed to save themselves by the life-lines 
which had been stretched across. The forward deck 
house which held the galley and engine room was 



170 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

almost demolished and everything moveable in it was 
washed over the side. 

The storm continued at its height from the Sunday 
afternoon until Wednesday morning. The passengers, 
who had been battened down for three days, were in a 
sorry plight owing to the quantities of water that had 
got below and the catering for them under such con- 
ditions proved very difficult. As is usually the case 
after such a storm, the wind subsided very much quicker 
than the sea, and for a few hours on the Wednesday 
night, the wind having dropped completely and the 
ship losing way, the rolling was terrific. Fortunately 
everything held aloft in spite of the great strain on the 
masts during these few hours. 

On two occasions the Sohraon had narrow escapes 
of getting ashore when making the Channel in thick 
weather. On her first voyage, after several days 
without sights and when it was calculated that the 
ship was in the chops of the Channel, several fishing 
boats were met, and, on asking his position, the captain 
found that he was heading up the Bristol Channel. 
Several of the passengers availed themselves of the 
opportunity of going ashore in the fishing boats, and, 
landing on the Devonshire coast, reached London several 
days before the ship. 

On the homeward passage in 1888 it came on very 
thick after Land's End had been sighted. The Sohraon 
stood on for some 24 hours and then suddenly the fog 
lifted and disclosed the land inside Portland Bill 
dead ahead and under a mile distant. The wind was 
easterly and light, and the Sohraon close-hauled on 
the starboard tack; however, she came round in time 
and stood off, thus escaping destruction by the narrowest 
margin. • 



THE SOBRAON 171 

The Sobraon had two escapes from being burnt at 
sea. The first was on the outward passage in 1884. 
A little water had been making in the vicinity of the 
main hatch and the carpenter went below one morning 
to try to discover where it was coming in. Amongst 
the cargo in the square of the hatch and around it were 
several crates of bottles packed in straw. In climbing 
over these the carpenter dropped the light he was 
carrying and inside of a minute the straw was alight 
and the flames darting out in every direction. Luckily 
the ship carried a quantity of fire extinguishers, and with 
these and the hoses from two pumps the fire was got 
under in about 20 minutes. Had there been the 
slightest delay the fire must have spread to the other 
cargo, and there being no means of getting at it nothmg 
could have saved the ship. 

The second instance occurred in the tropics when 
outward bound in 1888. A quantity of oil and some 
90 tons of coal were down in the fore peak, which was 
only separated from the cargo in the fore hold by a 
wooden bulkhead. By spontaneous combustion appar- 
ently the coal caught alight, and one morning smoke 
was discovered coming out of the hatch. All hands 
were at once started getting the coal up, but as the 
hatch was only 4 feet by 3 feet this proved an extremely 
slow job. After 20 tons had been got on deck, the 
smoke had become so thick and the heat so intense 
that the hose had to be resorted to. However, this 
conquered the fire in about half an hour. Luckily 
the burning part of the coal had been well away from 
the bulkhead or the consequences must have been 
more serious. 

There was only one person lost overboard off the 
Sobraon in her whole career, but this was a particularly 



172 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

distressing case. The following account of it was 
given to me by Captain A. G. Elmslie : — 

'*In about latitude 35° S. and longitude 5° W., 
one Sunday evening early in November, 1883, we were 
bowling along at a good 13 knots with the wind on the 
starboard quarter and royals set, being outward bound 
to Australia. I was third mate and keeping the first 
watch. Four bells had just been struck when I noticed 
a lady passenger come up on the poop and walk aft, 
sitting down on the weather side of the wheel box and 
close to the man at the wheel. About five minutes later 
the quartermaster cried out : — ' My God ! she 's 
overboard ! ' 

'*I rushed aft, and with the quartermaster tried to 
get hold of the girl, who was then hanging on to the 
lower rail outside, but before we could get her she let 
go and dropped into the water. Although only a few 
seconds had elapsed since the quartermaster had let 
the wheel go, the ship was up in the wind and nearly 
aback . 

** After telling the midshipman to throw some life- 
buoys over and the fourth officer to get the boat ready, I 
sang out : — ' Man overboard ! Let go your royal and 
topgallant halliards ! ' 

'* Fortunately the men were handy and the yards 
came down before we were flat aback. By this time the 
captain and other officers and all liands were on deck. 
Owing to the pace the ship was still going through the 
water, together with the strong wind blowing, it was 
necessary to let the topsails come down also. 

' * With the courses and lower topsails alone set, she 
soon lost way sufficiently to allow the boat being 
lowered, which by that time had been manned. Only 
four minutes elapsed between the girl going over the 



THE SOBRAON 173 

side and the boat being in the water, but in this short 
space of time the ship had travelled a good half mile 
and quite far enough to make the search a most difficult 
one, especially seeing that the night was intensely 
dark and a heavy sea running. The search was kept 
up for some four hours and only abandoned then through 
the danger of keeping the boat in the water, for she was 
several times nearly swamped. Needless to say, on 
such a night, and the probabilities being that the girl 
was drowned at once, no sign was seen of her. Two 
of the life-buoys were afterwards picked up by another 
ship. The reason of the suicide, for such it undoubtedly 
was, remained a mystery. The girl had no relations 
with her and no one on board could throw any light 
on the matter. ' ' 

On another occasion the ship was going some 5 knots 
in the tropics when an apprentice fell overboard during 
the forenoon watch. It was quite 20 minutes before 
the boat reached him, but he was found swimming 
along quite composed, having unlaced and taken his 
heavy boots off and slung them round his neck, as their 
weight was less felt there and he did not want to lose 
them. 

Another of Sobraon^s apprentices was even still 
more cool-headed. This one fell off the footrope of the 
mainyard, being one of 30 hands aloft stowing the 
mainsail. Luckily he was well in to the quarter of the 
yard and so fell on the deck. If he had gone overboard 
there would have been little chance of picking him up. 
The fall was one of 58 feet and he fell within 3 feet of 
the second mate. The latter naturally expected to find 
him dead, but he recovered consciousness within an 
hour, and was about again a month later quite recovered. 
He declared that as soon as he felt himself falling he 



174 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

made himself as rigid as possible, brought his head and 
legs together and protected the former with his arms ; 
and he landed in that position on his side. He was a 
big fellow, being over 6 feet in height and weighing 
14 stones. 

Another marvellous escape from aloft was that of a 
man who was helping to stow the main upper topsail. 
This man suddenly lost his hold and came down spread- 
eagle fashion. He dropped on to the main rigging and 
carried away 7 ratlins of 27 thread stuff, then landed on 
the rail without breaking a bone. This was in 1886, 
and the Sobraon was just making Plymouth. The 
man was taken to hospital and recovered in a few days. 
As soon as he came out of hospital, he claimed damages 
from the ship, declaring that a grummet on the jackstay 
had given away ; but it was easily proved that nothing 
went and the man had simply lost his hold. 

But all falls from aloft on the Sobraon were not so 
fortunate as these two. A young ordinary seaman 
once fell from the mizen topgallant rigging with fatal 
consequences. The crossjack had just been hauled 
up and the mizen topgallant sail clewed up, and the 
hands were sent aloft to make the sails fast. This 
man, with three others, being first aloft, went up to 
stow the topgallant sail. Suddenly the men on the 
crossjack footropes heard an agonising cry and a form 
whizzed past them, struck the spanker gaff and then 
fell on the deckhouse. The poor fellow broke his spine 
amongst other injuries and died almost immediately. 

On still another occasion, when the Sobraon was 
again coming into Plymouth, a man working in the 
main futtock rigging lost his hold and fell on deck right 
in the midst of a crowd of passengers. There were 
close on 100 people standing about at the time and it 



THE SOBRAON 175 

was extraordinary that he fell on no one — he just 
touched a lady on the shoulder and bruised her a little — 
but was of course horribly smashed up himself and 
killed instantly. The shock to the crowd of passengers 
standing round may easily be imagined. 

There were two curious cases of somnambulism 
amongst the passengers of the Sohraon. The first was 
a Church of England clergyman and he was most 
methodical in his movements. He invariably appeared 
on deck about midnight and would first of all go up on 
the poop and peer into the compass ; and then, after 
strolling the deck for a few minutes, would go below to 
the small saloon aft where prayers were held by him on 
that voyage. Here he would go over the service to an 
imaginary congregation, after which he would return 
to his berth and turn in. In the early days of the 
voyage he was spoken to about his sleep walking, and, 
at his own request, was locked into his cabin one night. 
The result was that when he found that he could not get 
out for his sleep walk, he worked himself into a fury 
of rage and began smashing things in his cabin. At 
last the door had to be opened for fear that he would do 
himself some damage and after a great deal of coaxing 
he was got back to bed. For some days after this, 
however, he was in a pretty bad way and no further 
attempt was made to stop him walking in his sleep. 

The second case was of a young man who generally 
appeared on deck for about an hour each night. On 
one occasion the officer of the watch, thinking that he 
was too close to the side of the ship and fearing that 
he might get on the rail or fall overboard, touched him 
with a view to getting him away. The somnambulist 
at once grappled with the mate and was only mastered 
after over a quarter of an hour's desperate struggle. 



176 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

As on an ordinary occasion the mate in question could 
probably have accounted for three men of the somnam- 
bulist's build and physique, the incident goes to prove 
that sleep walkers, if interfered with, are possessed 
temporarily of a madman's strength. 

On her last trip the Sohraon arrived at Melbourne 
about mid-December, 1891, and after discharging took 
in sufficient ballast to take her round to Sydney. 
Here she was sold to the New South Wales Government, 
who turned her into a reformatory ship, and for the next 
twenty years she lay moored in Sydney harbour. In 
1911 she was handed over to the Federal Government 
to be converted into a training ship for boys entering 
the Australian Navy. On being put into dry dock for 
survey, it was found that, in spite of her age, she was 
as sound as a bell. 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore. 

In Sohraon Messrs. Devitt & Moore undoubtedly 
had possessed one of the finest passenger sailing ships 
ever launched ; this firm, indeed, possessed a very 
keen eye where ships were concerned. The two partners 
started as shipbrokers, and loaded ships for the Aus- 
tralian trade as far back as 1836. They always loaded 
on commission, and I believe the first ships for which 
they did business belonged to Robert Brooks, after- 
wards the well-known M.P. for Weymouth. But the 
most famous shipowner who gave Devitt & Moore his 
ships to load was Duncan Dunbar. And on the death 
of Dunbar in 1862 Devitt & Moore acquired an interest 
in several of his best ships, notably the wonderful old 
La Rogue, one of the favourite passenger ships to Sydney 
in her day and celebrated for her huge figure-head and 
single mizen topsail. 



DEVITT & MOORE'S SHIPS 177 

Shortly before his death Duncan Dunbar had com- 
missioned Laing, of Sunderland, to build him a 1000-ton 
frigate-built passenger ship, to be called the Dunbar 
Castle. This ship, afterwards known as the '* Last 
of the Dunbars " was launched in 1866, and sailed 
regularly in Devitt & Moore's list of passenger ships 
to Australia. 

The La Hogue, by the way, was built by Pile, o^ 
Sunderland, and measured 1331 tons, being one of the 
largest frigate -built ships ever launched. 

Devitt & Moore kept her in the Sydney trade, and 
so popular was she with the Australians that they 
would wait weeks and often months on purpose to sail 
in her. 

In 1866, Laing, of Sunderland, launched the equally 
well-known and popular frigate-built liner Parramatta, 
of 1521 tons, for Devitt & Moore's Sydney passenger 
trade. These two ships do not properly come within 
the scope of this book and I shall give a more detailed 
account of them in the next book of this series, 
which will deal specially with these frigate-built 
Blackwallers. 

Few shipowners can escape scot-free from disaster, 
and the firm's greatest loss was when their new ship, 
the Queen of the Thames, considered by many to be the 
finest ship that ever left the London River, was lost 
off the Cape on her first homeward bound passage from 
Melbourne. 

With La Hogue and Parramatta in the Sydney trade 
and Sohraon in the Melbourne trade, the house-flag 
was well known throughout Victoria and New South 
Wales. Nor was it less well known in South Australia; 
indeed Devitt & Moore's ships were amongst the pioneers 
in the passenger and wool trade of Adelaide. 



178 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



» » 



** City of Adelaide *' and *' South Australian. 

In the Adelaide trade, the beautiful little 
composite ships of Devitt & Moore rivalled those of 
the Orient and Elder Lines. Of these little clippers 
the best known passenger ships were the City of Adelaide 
and South Australian. 

The City of Adelaide was launched in 1864 from Pile's 
yard, her measurements being: — 

Registered tonnage . . . . . . . . 791 tons. 

Length 176.8 feet. 

Breadth 33.2 ,, 

Depth 18.8 ,, 

She was a very fast little ship with a 65 -day run from 
London to Adelaide to her credit. 

The South Australian came out in 1868, also from 

Pile's yard, and measured : — 

Registered tonnage .. .. .. .. 1040 tons. 

Length 201 feet. 

Breadth 36 ,, 

Depth 20.1 ., 

She had a poop 80 ft. long, and was classed 17 years Al. 
Though not as fast a ship as the smaller City of Adelaide, 
she was a very fine sea boat with very comfortable 
accommodation for first and second class passengers. 

She was commanded by Captain David Bruce, who 
with his three sons was very well known in the Adelaide 
trade. Old David Bruce was one of the good old breed 
of sea dog — a sturdy, weather-beaten, grey -whiskered 
Scot. He always dressed in black broadcloth, topped 
by a straw hat and puggaree. He possessed a merry 
wit — also a lame leg, which had been crushed by a 
run -away cask during a storm. His three sons served 
their time under him, and the commands of the City of 
Adelaide and South Australian seem to have been taken 
in turn by each member of the Bruce family. 



From an old lithograph. 



"CITY OF ADELAIDE." 
David Bruce, Commander. 




SOUTH AUSTRALIAN 



From an old lithograph. 



[ih^aee'^dge^i'^ '• 



DEVITT & MOORE'S SHIPS 179 

South Australian was occasionally seen in Melbourne, 
but the City of Adelaide was always in the South Aus- 
tralian trade, and usually loaded wool at Port Augusta. 
Both ships were still running in th(; late eighties. 

The Speedy Little ** St. Vincent.'* 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore always considered that 
the little St. Vincent, launched in 1865 by Pile, of 
Sunderland, was the fastest ship they ever owned. Her 
measurements were:-- 

Registered tonnage . . . . . . . . 892 tons. 

Length 190 feet. 

Breadth 35 ,, 

Depth 18.9 „ 

She was also composite built^ with a 68-ft. poop 
and 36-ft. foc'sMe. With hard driving skippers, like 
J. Bissit and J. Barrett, she had as bad a reputation 
amongst foremast hands as the Orient flyers in the 
matter of wetness. However, she was such a beauti- 
fully modelled ship jthat she came to no harm in spite 
of generally travelling through the w^ater instead of 
over it. But no hard driven ship comes through the 
westerlies year after year without a scratch, and one 
occasionally comes across such entries as the following 
in her log books : — 

27th October, 1878. — Struck by a heavy squall, sustained severe 
damage to spars, losing bowsprit, headgear, etc. 

She was not often over the 80 days going out, and her 
times coming home would have been as good, if she 
had not come via the Cape and St. Helena like most 
South Australian traders ; nevertheless she was usually 
home in under 90 days. In spite of being hard driven 
for most of her life the St. Vincent was still afloat in 
1905 as a Norwegian barque under the name of Axel. 



180 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

** Pekina " and ** Hawkesbury/' 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore owned two other well- 
known clippers, built of wood. These were Pekina^ 
770 tons, built by Smith, of Aberdeen, in 1865 ; 
Hawkesbiiry, 1120 tons, built by Pile, of Sunderland, 
in 1868. 

The Pekina was in the South Australian trade, but 
the Hawkesbury always ran to Sydney. Though she 
had many fine passages to her credit, the Hawkesbury 's 
chief claim to fame was her reputation for being the 
wettest ship in the wool trade. She was composite 
built, but the Pekina was all wood. 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore sold the Pekina in 1880, but 
the Hawkesbury was still in the Sydney trade in the 
late eighties. 

Mr. T. B. Walker. 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore, as shipbrokers, had 
many fine ships figuring in their books, notably 
Mermerus and Thessalus, and at odd times others of 
Carmichael's fleet. They were also brokers for Mr. 
T. B. Walker's speedy little barques in the Tasmanian 
and Brisbane trades. These sailed under the Devitt & 
Moore house-flag, and Mr. Walker occupied a room 
and his clerk a desk in their office. 

Mr. T. B. Walker was a very prominent man amongst 
London shipowners and for many years was chairman 
of Lloyd's Register. He was a shipmaster of the old 
school and took a great pride in his ships, and kept 
them up in most liberal fashion. One of his customs 
was to keep officers and apprentices on board whilst 
the ships were at home, an old pensioned cook going 
into the galley and acting as shipkeeper. Thus the 
Walker apprentices had a most valuable training in 



MR. T. B. WALKER 181 

docking and undocking, shifting ship, refitting rigging, 
bending and unbending sail, etc., and a further result 
of this custom was that these pretty little barques 
were kept in such good order whilst at home that they 
came to be known as the West India Dock yachts. 

Mr. Walker lived at Hackney and later at Snares- 
brook, and he used to arrive at the docks punctually 
at 9.30 every morning. By this time the decks of all 
the Walker clippers in port had been washed down, 
the ropes Flemish coiled, the brass polished 
and everything was in order for his inspection. And 
everything had to be in perfect order, for he had an 
eye like a hawk and nothing escaped him : the least thing 
wrong or out of order and he was sure to detect it. 
His captains used to assemble together to meet him 
and make a daily report on their ships. After Mr. 
Walker had made his inspection it was the long-estab- 
lished custom for his captains to conduct him to the 
West India Dock Station, where he entrained for his 
day's work in the City. In the spring when most of 
the ships were home, this procession of Mr. Walker 
and his captains from the docks to the station was a 
well-known sight of the neighbourhood and was referred 
to as '' Mr. T. B. Walker and his satellites.'* 

Walker's Clipper Barques. 

Mr. T. B. Walker's long connection with the 
Tasmanian trade began in 1851-2 when he despatched 
the brig Arnon, of 338 tons register, to Launceston. 
She was commanded by Captain Benjamin Fowler, 
a brother-in-law of Mr. Walker's ; she arrived out of 
season and lay in port for some months waiting for 
the following season's wool, during which time Captain 
Fowler married a daughter of Captain William Nielley 



182 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



(late 40th Regiment), of Rostella, East Tamar, Laun- 
ceston, and by so doing set an example which was 
.followed by quite a number of Walker's skippers and 
officers. To name only a few, I may mention Captain 
Barwood, who succeeded Fowler in the Arnon and is, 
I believe, still living in Tasmania ; Captain Witting- 
ham, who was lost in the Lanoma ; Captain Smith, of 
the Wesibury ; and Captain Brown, of the Corinth, To 
return to the Arnon, on her return trip besides wool, 
she carried the mails and a large shipment of gold. 

On his arrival home Captain Fowler transferred to 
Walker's new barque, the Henry Reed, of 495 tons, 
and finally commanded the Alfred Hawley, another 
new barque of 420 tons. Captain Fowler retired early 
from the sea and settled down in his native town, 
Scarborough, where he took a great interest in municipal 
and local affairs, becoming in turn Alderman and Mayor, 
and lived to a good old age, being greatly respected and 
esteemed by his fellow townsmen. 

In the early sixties Walker kept three ships in the 
Launceston trade, the Durnstan, Fugitive and first 
Westhury, all small wooden barques. He also had 
ships in the Queensland trade ; most of his ships were 
built by Pile, of Sunderland, as the following list of 
his later ships will show : — 



Date 

Built. 


Ship. 


Description 


Tons. 


Builders. 


1863 


Arab Steed 


wood barque 


635 


Pile, of Sunderland, 


1866 


Araunah 


., 


448 


Gardner 


1867 


Westbury 


iron 


493 


Pile 


1868 


Decapolis 


i» . 


632 




1869 


Berean 


comp. ,, 


526 




1870 


Corinth 


.» .1 ' 


614 




i 1873 


Barossa 


iron ship 1 


968 


., 


1876 


Lanotna 


., barque j 


665 


Austin 




" BEREAN." 
From a painting in possession of the late Captain John WyriU. 



[To face page 183. 



THE BEREAN 



183 



The beautiful little **Berean/* 

The best known, as well as the fastest, of all 
Walker's barques was the beautiful little Berean. She 
was built by Pile, of Sunderland, on similar lines to 
the tea clippers Maitland and Undine, and was launched 
in August, 1869. She was a 19 -year Al ship, and so 
fine was the shipwright's workmanship that when 
she was 18 years old and due for remetalling, Mr. 
Spencer, Lloyd's senior surveyor, who was superin- 
tending the work, asked Captain Wyrill when she 
was last caulked, to which he got the reply : — ** On 
the stocks before launching. " Mr. Spencer could 
hardly believe this surprising statement ; he had the 
seams of the tops ides put to the severest test, but was 
obliged to admit that they could not be improved, his 
opinion being shared by the master caulker. And 
the Berean continued to the end of her career without 
being recaulked ; even after years of carrying heavy ice 
cargoes when owned by Norw^egians, it was not deemed 
necessary to touch her seams. 

Her registered measurements were : — 

Net tonnage . . . . . . . . 626 tons. 

Gross tonnage . . . . . . . . 642 

Under deck 506 

Length 160.5 feet. 

Breadth 30.2 

Depth 17.2 

She had a raised quarterdeck 43 feet long. This 
was laid with New Zealand Kauri pine planking, 4 
inches wide, extending the full length without a butt, 
and what is more without a knot. All the deck fittings, 
bouses, fiferails, skylights and topgallant bulwarks 
were of selected teak, the bulwarks being panelled with 
fretwork designs. The boats also were of polished 
teak ; in fact, the only bit of painted wood about the 



184 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



decks was the longboat chocks. Even the bunk boards 
and linmg of the foc's'le were of teak. 

The Berean carried sky sails for many years, and the 
following are her spar measurements : — 



Spars. 


Foremast. 


Mainmast. 


Mizen 1 
mast. 1 




ft. 


ft. 


ft 


Mast (deck to truck) 


112 


116 


93 


Lower mast (deck to cap) 


50 


54 


50 


Doublings 


12 


12 


9 


Topmast 


38 


38 


29 


Doublings 


6.6 


6.G 


— 


Topgallant, royal and skysail masts 


42.6 


42.6 


23 1 


Lower yard 


62 


62 


- 


Lower topsail yard 


55 


55 




Upper topsail yard 


50 


50 


— 


Topgallant yard 


40 


40 


— 


Royal yard 


30 


30 


— 


Skysail yard 


23 


23 


— 


Spanker boom 


— 


— 


44.6 


Spanker gaff 


— 


— 


44 


Bowsprit and jibboom 


48 







Berean'' s best point of sailing was with a whole sail 
breeze and smooth water, the wind quarterly or 2 points 
abaft the beam. Her best run in the 24 hours was 
315 miles. She was, of course, too small and hardly 
powerful enough to equal the larger iron clippers when 
running down the easting, but in moderate weather 
there were not many ships which could show her their 
sterns. The following sailing records will give some 
idea of her powers : — 



Equator to the Channel 
First 4 passages out averaged 
First 4 passages home averaged 



17 days. 
84 



In sailing round the world from 30° S . , 20° W. , to 30° S . , 
20° W., her yearly average was from 80 to 85 days, her 
quickest circle of the globe being 76 days. 



CAPTAIN JOHN WYRILL 185 

Her best outward passage to Launceston was : — 

71 days pilot to pilot. 
68 days land to land. 

In 1881-2 she ran from Launceston to the Lizard in 
79 days. During her first 14 voyages, all her passages 
were under 90 days. She generally left the West 
India Docks in May and was back in the Thames about 
the following March. 

Captain John Wyrill. 

Captain John Wyrill, who, I am glad to say, is 
still hale and hearty, took Berean from the stocks 
and only left her when she changed her flag. He is 
one of the few sailors left of the good old sort, for he 
has the distinction of never having served in a steamship. 
Coming from one of the foremost seafaring families 
in Scarborough, Captain Wyrill went to sea as far back 
as 1850 ; his apprenticeship indentures were for seven 
years, but he was an acting second mate within three 
years of his going to sea. 

His first command in T. B. Walker's ships came 
about in rather a curious way. He was appointed 
to command a ship, belonging to Mr. Hodgson Smith, 
the father of Scarborough's present harbourmaster, 
in place of a captain who was ill. This ship lay in 
a South Coast port, but on Captain Wyrill arriving 
there to take up his command he found that the sick 
skipper had recovered and sailed on his voyage. Mr. 
Smith thereupon introduced him to Mr. T. B. Walker 
and his brother Henry Walker, who, by the way, were 
natives of Scarborough. Through them he obtained 
command of a ship called the Lady Stanley, his next 
command was the Asphodel, then the Velocidade, which 
he left to take the Berean, 



186 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Captain Wyrill circumnavigated the globe no less 
than 36 times, and was 44 years in command of sailing 
ships, for 42 of which he was in the Tasmanian trade. 
Indeed no history of Tasmania's rise to her present 
prosperity and importance would be complete without 
some mention of the Berean and her commander. And 
when it was known in Launceston that Captain Wyrill 
was leaving Tasmania homeward bound for the last 
time, with the intention of retiring from the sea, a 
meeting and public send-off was arranged and a purse 
of sovereigns and an illuminated address were presented 
to the veteran captain by the Mayor of the town after 
several eulogistic speeches, in which Captain WyriU 
was referred to *' as one of the most popular men ever 
connected with the shipping of Launceston." Like 
many another sailing ship captain, Captain Wyrill 
was no mean surgeon and the setting of broken limbs 
at sea held no terrors for him. He once made a very 
good job of his second mate's broken arm. 

The Berean was so free from accidents at sea that 
after she had been afloat some years the underwriters 
at Lloyd's offered to insure her at a specially reduced 
premium. Her most serious misfortune, whilst under 
Captain Wyrill, occurred whilst she was towing up to 
the docks from Gravesend. A large ship ahead suddenly 
took the ground and the Berean was unable to clear her, 
the collision costing her a new bowsprit, besides damages 
to figure-head and cutwater. Her narrowest escape from 
shipwreck was owing to a wrong light in 1888 in no 
less a place than the Channel. F airplay, in criticising 
the misdeeds of Trinity House, gives the following 
account of the incident :— 

The Berean, Captain Wyrill, left London for the Colonies in the 
fall of last year. Before sailing the captain received from the Board 



THE BEREAN 187 

of Barnacles notice that the light on St. Catherine's, Isle of Wight, was 
to be altered in October from a fixed oil light to an electric flash with 
intervals of about five seconds. The captain, like a prudent man, 
entered this on his chart, so that it should not be overlooked. Before 
he left the Colonies, another notice of the inpending change was given 
him, and he. was well armed with timely advice. He made his homeward 
voyage, and calculated he was off the Channel. He had not been able 
to get an observation for three days, but he felt sure of his position, 
and he shaped a course right up Channel for Beachy Head. A strong 
S.W. wind was blowing, and the weather was thick and dirty. When 
he judged he had run his distance to Portland, he bore up a little for 
the English land to catch St. Catherine's light, and word was given to 
look out for the bright electric flash. No such light was visible and the 
vessel was still kept away. Presently a dim light was seen 2 points on 
the starboard bow. At first this light looked green and was taken to be 
the starboard light of an approaching ship, and the helm was starboarded 
a little to give more room. A little time showed that idea to be wrong, 
and eyes were still strained to catch St. Catherine's with no result. Then 
the light seen was taken for a steamer's masthead light, but that notion 
did not do, and it was quite clear that the light, let it be what it might, 
was a fixed shore light. Over went the lead, and the soundings showed 
the shore to be handy, but what shore ? Or what part of the shore ? 
Clearly not ofE St. Catherine's, because according to notice given there 
could be no fixed light there. 

The course and soundings would have agreed with the French shore 
in the neighbourhood of Cape La Hogue. Something had to be done, 
and quickly. The light was getting clearer but no land could be seen. 
If the vessel was on the French coast it would be fatal to haul her wind, 
if on the English coast it would be destruction to bear up. What was 
to be done ? Over went the lead again. Twelve fathoms. That was 
enough, thank you. There was too much sea on to stay the ship in a 
hurry, so the captain wore her round and stood off on the port tack to 
get back where he came from. The compass soon showed that the 
flood tide was setting the vessel in by the light, and there was nothing 
for it but to wear again and get out past the light on the old course, if 
it could be done. The captain took the wheel, and calling to the crew 
to pull hard if ever they pulled in their lives, sent her round again. It 
was hit or miss, but the vessel was smart, and was smartly handled. She 
came round like a duck and just managed to go clear of the light, which 
after all, turned out to be St. Catherine's. It had never been altered. 

The **Berean's'* Races. 

In her 2T years of sailing out to the Antipodes 
and home, the Berean had many a contest with clippers 



188 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

twice her size, in which she gave a very good account 
of herself. 

Captain Wyrill gave a very interesting description of 
three of these encounters in the Nautical Magazine a 
few years ago, and I do not think I can do better than 
quote his own words. He writes : — 

Coming home from Tasmania in the Berean early in 1870, about the 
equator and nearing the tedious " variables," alias " doldrums," 
alias " horse latitudes," we overhauled the clipper ship Yosemite, from 
San Francisco for United Kingdom for orders. Her captain signalled 
for permission to come on board, and a prompt reply of welcome went 
up. The captain reported himself tired and restless, that he was 
racing home with two or three ships, and was anxious to know what 
vessels we had spoken. My list was produced, but none of his com- 
petitors was in it. After a pleasant visit the captain returned to his 
ship giving me the names of two of his antagonists. 

Berean gradually crept away from Yosemite, and in about two days 
she had dipped below the horizon, but was still visible from aloft. By 
this time we were coming up with two ships, which, by their spread 
of stunsails, water-sails, Jimmy Greens, etc., were evidently in a great 
hurry. In exchanging signals they proved to be the two vessels racing 
the Yosemite, viz., ship Lady Blomfield and barque Cerastes ; the latter 
was slightly ahead. We passed within hail of the Lady Blomfield, and 
when I reported the Yosemite not far astern the cap'ain was greatly 
excited. Throwing up his cap, he exclaimed, " Go and tell the other 
ship there is a bet of £100 between them." 

A hand went aloft and pointed out the Yosemite astern. Shortly 
after we sailed alongside the Cerastes, but the captain took the news of 
the racer's proximity very calmly and seemed to be surprised she was 
so near. We gradually got away from these two ships and saw no more 
of them. On arrival in the English Channel I sent a report ashore 
which appeared in the Shipping Gazette, and I found considerable 
interest was being taken in this race. I was interviewed by Yosemite' s 
agents as to my opinion which ship would win. Two or three days 
after Berean arrived in London Cerastes reached Queenstown, and 
was the winner of that race. 

In 1893, homeward bound from Tasmania to London, Lat. 19° S., 
Long. 22** W., Berean fell in with Geo. Thompson's Aberdeen White 
Star clipper Samuel Plimsoll from Sydney to London ; strong S.E. trade 
wind, squally. At daylight the two ships were exactly abeam of each 
other, and throughout the day neither could gain an inch. (The old 
man of the Samuel Plimsoll stamped up and down his poop all day in a 



THE BEREAN 189 

very excited state of mind and kept exclaiming, " A little thing like that 
hanging on to me like a flea and I cannot shake her off.") The royals 
were frequently lowered during the squalls and hoisted again when they 
had passed. Samuel Plimsoll steering slightly more easterly, the two ships 
gradually closed, and if the respective courses had been continued 
must have collided. Berean, being the windward ship, was bound to 
give way, so at sundown she was shaken up in the wind and the Samuel 
Plimsoll allowed to pass ahead. At daylight next day, the Aberdeen 
clipper was well out to windward and slightly ahead, and in that bearing 
the ships parted, seeing no more of each other. 

Unfortunately, in the chops of the Channel, Berean was surrounded 
with a fleet of herring nets, some of which clung to her the rest of the 
passage impeding her speed. Samuel Plimsoll arrived at Gravesend an 
hour or two ahead, but being too early in the tide had to anchor. Berean, 
being of lighter draught, passed her and was first in dock. But for the 
detention through fouling the nets, in all probability these two ships 
would have reached Gravesend together after a race of 6000 miles. 

In 1895, when outward bound to Tasmania and in the doldrums 
north of the equator, Berean fell in with the four-master Loch liner 
Loch Carron, bound to Adelaide. The two ships after a chat with 
signals parted on opposite tacks and did not sight each other again 
until crossing the Great Bight of Australia, when at lunch one day the 
welcome cry of " Sail-ho ! " was heard. Going on deck the chief 
officer and myself naturally looked ahead for the stranger, but a ship 
on our starboard quarter was pointed out. Berean was steering due 
east for Tasmania with the wind right aft, the worst point for fine-lined 
ships, head sails all becalmed ; the Loch Carron hauling up for Adelaide 
was carrying the wind 2 or 3 points on the quarter, all sails drawing, 
and was gaining on the Berean. When she got into our wake she kept 
off on the same course as if intending to speak, but finding she could 
not gain on that course hauled to again, crossing astern, and with the 
difference in the courses the two ships were soon out of sight of each' 
other. The picture of the Loch Carron as she sheered away under all 
sail, scattering the feathery foam from her bows, still lives, forming 
one of the series of mental photographs an old sailor naturally collects. 

Another still more interesting meeting was with 
the famous Thermopylae. Both ships were outward 
bound, and the Thermopylae overhauled and passed 
the Berean to the southward of the Cape, the weather 
being unsettled, and the Thermopylae, being able to 
bear more sail than the little Berean, soon went out of 
sight ahead. Nevertheless she only passed Cape Otway 



100 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

17 hours ahead of the Berean, so Captain Wyrill was 
not quite broken-hearted. 

On another occasion the Berean, when outward bound, 
crossed the southern tropic in company with Green's 
Melbourne (afterwards the well-known cadet ship 
Macqicarie) and the little barque arrived in Launceston 
two or three days before the big iron ship arrived in 
Hobson's Bay. 

Again, when homeward bound, the Berean was 
passed off the Falkland Isles in a strong breeze by 
Green's fast Blackwall frigate Windsor Castle, never- 
theless the Windsor Castle docked in London four days 
later than the Berean. 

All the above trials of speed were with vessels very 
miich larger and more powerful than Mr. Walker's 
clipper barque, but the Berean once had a very inter- 
esting race round the world with another well-known 
barque, the little Harriet McGregor, of 331 tons, be- 
longing to Hobart. The two ships left Tasmania 
toother, and the Berean arrived at Gravesend, 90 
days out, beating the Harriet McGregor by a week. 
On the return passage, the Harriet McGregor was loaded 
first and got away about nine days ahead of Berean, but 
again Walker's clipper got in ahead of her, this time 
by one day only, after making the run to Launceston 
in 77 days. 

** Berean '* as an Ice Carrier. 

Mr. T. B. Walker died in 1894, and all his ships 
were sold two years later. 

Berean went to the Norwegians and was employed 
for the next 14 years carrying ice from Norway to the 
Thames. Captain Wyrill took over the Eden Holme 
and some of his old hands went with him. He was 



THE BEREAN 191 

hauling into the London Dock after his first voyage to 
Tasmania in the Eden Holmes when the poor little 
Berean under her new flag was hauling out ; and the 
change for the worse in the old ship was so marked that 
one of her old crew remarked to Captain Wyrill with 
tears in his eyes : — *' There she is, sir, but she looks 
very different from what she was when we had her." 
Nevertheless, though uncared for, the Berean still 
continued to make good regular passages, and was 
a constant visitor to the Regent's Canal Dock. But 
in 1910 she was run into by a foreign steamer below 
Gravesend, when inward bound from Langesund, and 
was towed ashore in a sinking condition. This was the 
end of her active career, for she yfdiS now condemned, 
and after being patched up went to Falmouth as a hulk. 
I saw her there not many years before the war, and the 
marks of the thoroughbred were still plain to be seen. 

Loss of the '* Corinth.'' 

The Corinth^ Walker's only other composite ship, 
was lost by spontaneous combustion. 

In the year 1890 she sailed from Launceston, in the 
wake of the Berean, with a cargo of wool and skins, 
under command of Captain Littler. When she was 
a week out and about ^00 miles S.E. of New Zealand, 
signs of fire in the hold were discovered early on a 
Sunday morning. Prompt measures to fight the fire 
were at once taken, everything was battened down, 
holes were cut in the deck, through which the hose was 
led and the wool bales were soused with water ; never- 
theless the fire gained rapidly and at 10 o'clock the same 
night the ship had to be abandoned. The crew got 
safely away in two boats and headed for the New 
Zealand coast, but with little hope of making the land 



194 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

These were two of the last of the wood and composite 
clippers, for by the early seventies every shipowner, 
however conservative, found himself compelled to go 
in for iron ships, if he was to compete sucessfully in 
the world's freight market. 



PART III.— ** THE IRON CLIPPERS." 

Fill us with wool till we're nigh overflowing. 
Send us away when strong breezes are blowing, 

And we'll show all the others the road. 
The tug boat is coming for us in the morn, 
We'll drive her like blazes from here to the Horn. 

For the main royal shall never be stowed — 

J. St. a, Jewell. 

The Introduction of Iron in Shipbuilding. 

IT was the introduction of iron, as the chief material 
for the building of ships, that contributed more 
than anything else to the supremacy of the British 
Mercantile Marine. 

Iron killed the competition of our American cousins, 
who, as long as wood was the chief factor, were able to 
give us a hard fight as to which should lead the world in 
shipbuilding. Yes, it was the advent of iron, more 
than the North and South War, more than the sinkings 
of the Alabama, more than any slump in freights or 
foolish shipping legislation on the part of the United 
States, and more even than our adoption of Free Trade, 
which made the British nation the carriers of the 
world. 

Many people think, and they have been fostered in 

their belief by the good old conservative wood and hemp 

sailor, that iron also sounded the knell of the sailing 

ship. This is, of course, to a certain degree true, yet 

sail continued to flourish for 50 years after the advent 

195 



194 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

These were two of the last of the wood and composite 
clippers, for by the early seventies every shipowner, 
however conservative, found himself compelled to go 
in for iron ships, if he was to compete sucessfully in 
the world's freight market. 



PART III.— ** THE IRON CLIPPERS." 

Fill us with wool till we're nigh overflowing. 
Send us away when strong breezes are blowing, 

And we'll show all the others the road. 
The tug boat is coming for us in the morn, 
We'll drive her like blazes from here to the Horn. 

For the main royal shall never be stowed — 

J. St. a. Jewell. 

The Introduction of Iron in Shipbuilding. 

IT was the introduction of iron, as the chief material 
for the building of ships, that contributed more 
than anything else to the supremacy of the British 
Mercantile Marine. 

Iron killed the competition of our iVmerican cousins, 
who, as long as wood was the chief factor, were able to 
give us a hard fight as to which should lead the world in 
shipbuilding. Yes, it was the advent of iron, more 
than the North and South War, more than the sinkings 
of the Alabama, more than any slump in freights or 
foolish shipping legislation on the part of the United 
States, and more even than our adoption of Free Trade, 
which made the British nation the carriers of the 
world. 

Many people think, and they have been fostered in 

their belief by the good old conservative wood and hemp 

sailor, that iron also sounded the knell of the sailing 

ship. This is, of course, to a certain degree true, yet 

sail continued to flourish for 50 years after the advent 

195 



196 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

of iron, and up to the late nineties no finer ships had 
ever been built or sailed than the iron clippers from the 
Clyde and other British shipyards. 

It was the deterioration of the man before the mast 
which the advent of steam brought about, and the 
cutting of freights induced by coal, the cry for bigger 
ships and more luxury, and also, that soulless modern 
institution, the company manager, which drove sailing 
ships down and down in the trade of the world ; these 
and the growing desire for mechanical speed, which 
have invaded almost every department of life, killed 
the windjammer. 

But in iron, as in wood, sail had a zenith to reach 
before the decline set in, and through the last half of 
the nineteenth century the ports of the world were 
crowded with magnificent iron full -rigged ships and 
barques, such as it would have been hard to improve 
upon with all our new knowledge of wind pressure, 
streamlines, and least resistance curves. 

The Drawbacks and Advantages of Iron. 

Like everything else iron had its drawbacks as 
well as its advantages. At first its effect upon the 
deviation of the compass caused many a stranding and 
many a disastrous shipwreck. Then too, though an 
iron ship can be driven into a head sea in a way no 
dare-devil of a Yankee driver would have dared to 
attempt with his soft-wood clipper, iron has not the 
buoyancy of wood, and the sight of a modern four- 
poster's main deck when running before the westerlies 
would have made a Black Ball skipper rub his eyes 
with astonishment. As a preventative of weed and 
barnacles, no ant i -fouling has \^et been discovered 
which can compete with copper, and thus an iron hull, 



THE SIZE OF SHIPS 197 

especially if it had been long in certain well-known 
localities, was ever a handicap to a vessel's speed 
through the water. Iron ships have never been able 
to equal their wooden sisters in light winds, and this 
chiefly owing to the trouble of foul bottoms. 

The three chief advantages of an iron ship were 
firstly, that her hull would stand unlimited driving, 
especially into a head sea; secondl}^ she had more 
room for cargo than a wooden ship of the same size ; and 
thirdly, she was safer from that dreaded scourge at 
sea — fire. 



Increase in the Size of Ships. 

The chief change brought about by iron has been 
the increase in the size of ships. The old-style ship- 
owner held that a very big ship was a very big mistake. 

When the Jason, a 1500-ton ship, went out to Calcutta 
at the beginning of the seventies, Patrick Keith, of 
Gladstone, Wyllie & Co., wrote to the Carmichaels, 
her owners, saying that she was far too big a ship for 
the Indian trade, and that Smith's smart little 1000-ton 
** Cities " were quite large enough. Yet on her last 
voyage to the Hooghly, 20 years later, the Jason was 
by far the smallest deep-water sailing ship in the port 
of Calcutta. 

The difficulty of w^orking wood in big sizes kept 
down the tonnage in the old days, but with the intro- 
duction of iron this difficulty was at once removed. 
And iron masts and yards in the place of Oregon pine, 
and wire in the place of the tremendous hemp shrouds, 
solved the problem of rigging strain — thus, with sail 
as with steam, the first result from the use of iron was 
the steady increase in individual tonnage. 



198 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Sail Plan Alterations. 

Iron masts and wire stays caused a big change in 
the sail plan of the full-rigged ship. The increased 
strength led at first to a certain amount of over-masting 
as well as over-carrying of sail, with the result that many 
a new clipper was dismasted on her maiden voyage. 
1874 was a specially disastrous year in this way. No 
less than seven ships lost their masts bound out to 
Australia, and tlie Loch Ard was twice a victim. It 
was her maiden voyage, and she lost her ** gossamer," 
as Joseph Conrad poetically calls it, before she had 
cleared the land. She put back to the Clyde and 
refitted, only to again lose her masts running the easting 
down . About th is date also a great number of iron ships 
were posted as missing, notably the Africa, Asia, Loch 
Laggan {e^- America), Cairo and Great Queensland, No 
doubt some of these losses were due to dismasting. 

It was not only that the ships were tremendously 
lofty, but their yards became squarer and squarer, until 
it was found that stunsails were a luxury. In fact, 
partly for this reason and partly owing to the com- 
petition of steam and the resulting need for economy, 
flying kites of all descriptions were given up and by the 
early eighties even a fore topmast stunsail was looked 
upon as a curiosity. 

The lesson of rigging strain had to be learnt with the 
iron clippers, just as it had had to be with the early 
wood clippers, but it was not long before the seas were 
crowded by perfectly sparred iron ships. Specially worthy 
of mention for perfection of sail plan were Carmichael's 
beautiful main skysail clippers, such as the fi^oZ^^w Fleece, 
Jason, Mermerus, Thessalus, Argonauf. and others. 

Double topsail yards were followed before very long bj^ 
double toDgallant yards, then came the eclipse, and the 



MAINYARD TABLE 



199 



seas became covered with stump topgallant mast 
horrors and that pathetic sight, the full rig ship mas- 
querading as a barque. 

I give a mainyard table, which may be of interest as 
showing the development of width in sail plans. 
MAINYARD TABLE. 



Length 

of 
Mainy'd 
in feet 


Ship 


Tonnage 


Date 
Built 


Description. 


120 


Great Republic . . 


3357 


1853 


American 4-mast barque 


108 


British A mbassador 


1794 


1873 


British iron "jute" clipper 


102 


Preussen . . 


5081 


1902 


German 5-mast ship, nit- 
rate clipper 


100 


Royal Sovereign . . 


1637* 


1637 


Brit. 1st rate man-of-war 


.. 


Daylight . . 


3756 


1902 


Brit, steel 4-mast barque. 

Oil tank 
"Black Ball" pass, clipper 




James Baines 


2515 


1854, 


\\ 


Donald Mackay . . 


2598 


1855 


»i i> II 


96 


Prince Royal 


1187* 


1610 


Brit. 1st rate man-of-war 


,, 


Glery of the Seas .. 


2103 


1869 


Amer. "C. Horn" clipper 


95 


Lightning . . 


2084 


1854 


"Black Ball" pass, clipper 


,, 


Champion of the Seas 


2448 


1854 




^^ 


Royal Charter 


3000 


1855 


Brit, full-rigged auxiliary 


,, 


Roanoke . . 


3559 


1892 


Amer. wood 4-mast barque 


94 


Shenandoah 


3258 


1890 


II II II 


92 


Diri^o 


3005 


1894 


American steel 4-mast 
barque (British design) 


90 


Challenge . . 


20061 


1851 


American wood clipper 


• II 


Sovereign of the Seas 


2421t 


1852 


•1 i» II 


89 


Star of the East .. 


1219 


1853 


New Bruns. wood clipper 


88 


Mermerus 


1671 


1872 


Brit, iron "wool " clipper 




Loch Torridon 


2000 


1881 


Brit, iron i-mast barque 


84 


Ben Voirhch 
Loch Maree 


1474 
1581 


1873 


Brit iron "wool" clipper 


, 


Pott Jackson 


2132 


1882 


British iron 4-mast barque 


82 


Cimba 


1174 


1878 


British iron "wool" clipper 


,, 


Flying Cloud 


1793+ 


1851 


American wood clipper 


81 


Salamis 


1079 


1875 


British iron "wool" clipper 


,, 


Witch of the Wave 


15001 


1851 


American wood clipper 


80 


60-gun ship 


1500* 


1800 


Brit.4th rate man-of-war 


,, 


Thermopylae 


948 


1868 


British tea clipper 


,, 


Typhoon . . 


1610t 


1851 


American wood clipper 


79 


Dreadnought 


1413t 


1853 


Amer. Atlan. packet ship 


78 


Cutty Sark 


921 


1869 


British tea clipper 


»» 


Hallowe'en 


920 


1870 


British iron tea clipper 




Surprise . . 


1361t 


1850 


American wood clipper 


75 


Roscius 


uoot 


1836 


Amer. Atlan. packet ship 


74 


Norman Court 


834 


1869 


British tea clipper 


72 


Ariel 


852 


1865 


1. 




♦Old. 




fAD 


lericaa. 



200 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The ** Ironsides," First Iron Sailing Ship. 

The first vessel to be constructed of iron was 
launched in 1838, and appropriately named the Iron- 
sides. She was built at Liverpool by Messrs. Jackson, 
Gordon & Co., and in appearance differed very little 
from wooden ships of that date. She w^as very short, 
with heavy stern and low bow, out of which cocked an 
extremely long bowsprit and jibboom, whilst her masts 
in contrast to her hull seemed to rake the heavens. 
However she was the pioneer of the new material and at 
one time her picture was a common sight in shop 
windows. It is doubtful if she was altogether a success, 
and iron ships were still a rarity 20 years later. 

The **Martaban.'* 

In 1853, an iron sailing ship was launched from 
the yard of John Scott, of Greenock, with intercostal 
plates and stringers. This was the Martaban, of 743 
tons register, built for the well-known firm of Car- 
michael. Her specifications were the product of the 
brains of Matthew Orr, brother-in-law of the first 
Thomas Carmichael, and of John Ferguson, who was 
afterwards a member of Barclay, Curie & Co., the 
famous shipbuilders. The Martaban was classed nine 
years Al at Lloyd's, being rated equal to a nine years 
wooden ship. 

At that time Lloyd's had no rules or class for iron 
ships, so they retained Martaban^ s original speci- 
fication as a basis for their rules concerning iron ships. 
That the Martaban was a success is proved by the 
fact that she received £4 a ton for a cargo of coffee and 
cotton from Bombay to Havre, and was offered a 
Diplome d'Honneur at the local exposition for delivery 
of her cargo in perfect condition. 




Mr. THOMAS CARMICHAEL, of A. & J. Carmichael. 



[To face page 200. 



THE AUSTRALIAN TRADE 201 

Iron Ships in the Australian Trade. 

It was in the Australian trade that the iron 
passenger ship was to be seen in her perfection. She 
succeeded the great Liverpool clippers and the little 
Blackwall frigates, and she was as beautiful and perfect 
as any of her wooden sisters. 

In the sixties, seventies and even eighties thousands 
of emigrants were carried from the Old Country to 
Australia and New Zealand in these magnificent iron 
clippers. They also took out blood stock of every 
description from racehorses to pedigree bulls and rams; 
and a nice time some of these animals must have had 
when the clippers were carrying on running their easting 
down. 

Most of the ships Faced home again with wool for the 
London sales, but a few, notably Heap's fine ships^ 
went on from Australia to India and Burma, generally 
with a load of walers for the army in India. In the 
Bay of Bengal they either loaded jute home from 
Calcutta or rice from Rangoon. Messrs. J. Heap & 
Sons were rice millers, and their ships took the firm's 
rice home. 

In the seventies and eighties these beautiful clippers 
were a never-ending interest in the London River, 
the Mersey, the Clyde and the great ports of the Anti- 
podes. In Sydney landsmen made special Sunday 
excursions to Circular Quay to see the ships, and it 
was the same with the other ports in the days of masts 
and yards. Every Australian, whether native-born ot 
new chum, kept a tender corner in his heart for the tall 
ships which had had so much to do with the develop- 
ment of his country. The Sydney-side native, indeed, 
not only took a pride in the regular traders to the port, 
but knew them intimately, and could generally b** 



202 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

relied on to name an incoming clipper correctl}^ long 
before she had reached the anchorage. 

The New South Dock. 

A visit to the docks of the London River is only 
made nowadays from dire necessity. Their charm has 
entirely departed. Instead of a forest of spars, nothing 
now shows above the warehouse roofs but the soot- 
covered, stumpy masts, blunt -nosed derricks, and squat 
funnels of a few steamers. Truly the glory of the docks 
has departed for ever, and only the sentiment remains. 
Joseph Conrad, in his delightful Mirror of the Sea, thus 
describes the New South Dock in the days of the iron 
wool clipper : — 

To a man who has never seen the extraordinary nobility, strength, 
and grace that the devoted generations of shipbuilders have evolved 
from some pure nooks of their simple souls, the sight that could be seen 
five-and -twenty years ago of a large fleet of clippers moored along the 
north side of the New South Dock was an inspiring spectacle. Then 
there was a quarter of a mile of them, from the iron dockyard gates 
guarded by policemen, in a long, forest-like perspective of masts, moored 
two and two to man> stout wooden jetties. Their spars dwarfed 
with their loftiness the corrugated iron sheds, their jibbooms extended 
far over the shore, their white and gold figure-heads, almost dazzling in 
their purity, overhung the straight, long quay above the mud and dirt 
of the wharfside, with the busy figures of groups and single men 
moving to and fro, restless and grimy under their soarmg^mmobility. 

I have a photograph of the South Dock just as it is 
depicted by Conrad, showing the long row of lean; 
knife-like cut-waters, surmounted by their spotless 
figure-heads, and with their bowsprits stabbing the 
sheds opposite, whilst the masts and yards criss-cross 
the dull grey of the London sky. 

The Builders of the Iron Wool Clippers. 

Before proceeding to the ships themselves, I 
must not omit to say a few words about the men who 
built these splendid iron sailing ships. 



IRON WOOL CLIPPERS 208 

The London River, partly owing to an ill-advised 
strike and partly owing to its distance from the raw 
material in comparison to the northern ports, entirely 
lost its shipbuilding business in the latter half of 
the nineteenth century; and the builders of the iron 
wool clipper were pretty evenly distributed over the 
Clyde, the Mersey and Aberdeen. Once more, as with 
the tea clippers, there was a keen rivalry between 
Glasgow and Aberdeen, and it is difficult to say which 
carried the day, for both cities were represented by 
countless beautiful ships. Duthie, Hall and Hood had, 
however, to contend with more than twice their 
number of Clydeside rivals. If I were asked to give my 
humble opinion, I should award the palm to Messrs. 
Barclay, Curie & Co. for producing the most perfect iron 
ships that ever sailed the seas. They built many of the 
best '* Lochs,'* such as Loch Maree, and the four- 
posters Lochs Torridoriy Carron and Broom. They were 
responsible for the whole of Carmichael's splendid fleet, 
and the two famous * * Bens * ' — Voirlich and Cruachan 
— emanated from their drawing lofts. 

Thomson, of Glasgow, built some half-dozen 
** Lochs,*' his masterpiece being the Loch Garry, The 
rest of the Loch Line were divided amongst Lawrie, 
Inglis, Henderson, and Connell. Duthie 's finest ship 
was the Brilliant. Hall built the well-known Port 
Jackson f whilst Hood was the originator of all the 
Aberdeen White Star ships and also built the smart 
little Cimba. 

Heap*s ships were mostly built by Evans, of Liver- 
pool ; and Potter, of Liverpool, produced the two well- 
known London ships, Thoinas Stephens and Old 
Kensington. Of the other London owned ships, Hesperus 
and Harbinger worthily upheld the name of Steele, 



20i THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

while Pile, of Sunderland, was represented by Rodney, 
I must now turn to the ships themselves, and, taking 
them in order of date, will begin with that famous 
veteran the Darling Downs. 

The ** Darling Dovi^ns." 

She was one of that numerous fleet of ships, 
the converted from steam to sail, about which one could 
make a largish book without much trouble. And she 
was one of the most successful of the lot. She was built 
as far back as 1852 and sailed under the flag of the 
General Screw Steamship Company, as the Calcutta, 
an auxiliary steamer with a 300 horse-power engine. 
Like nearly all early steamship businesses the General 
Screw S.S. Co. did not remain solvent very long, their 
ships were sold and were promptly converted into sailing 
ships, and in many cases renamed. 

As a sailing ship, the Darling Downs was a very 
favourite passenger ship to Sydney. Like all converted 
steamers she was a very fast sailer, and made very good 
and regular passages. After a prosperous career as a 
Sydney trader, she was finally run into and sunk off the 
Nore in 1887. 

♦» City of Agra " and *♦ Sam MendeL " 

These two early iron ships were both exceedingly 
fast and made many a good passage to the Colonies. 
City of Agra once landed her passengers in Melbourne 
when only 65 days out from the Tuskar ; on another 
occasion she passed Port Phillip Heads on her way to 
Queensland, when 63 days out; and she made the run 
out to Lyttelton, New Zealand, in 71 days. 

In 1881, when commanded by Captain Young, she left 
Gravesend on 25th May, took her departure from the 




DARLING DOWNS." 




AMlUi^i-:.' 



?S*. Photo by Captain Schutze, Sydney. 



{To face page 204, 



EARLY IRON SHIPS 205 

Lizard on the 29th, and crossed the equator on 17th 
June in 27° W., 19 days from soundings. Between the 
N.E. and S.E. trades, she had very squally variables 
and lost her fore topgallant mast. She crossed the 
meridian of the Cape on 11th July and ran her easting 
down in 39° and 40° S., making a very steady average, 
as her best run was only 270 miles, and she crossed the 
Leeuwin meridian on 30th July, signalled the Otway 
on 5th August and arrived in Hobson's Bay the following 
day, only 69 days out from the Lizard. 

Sam Mendel is known for her 68 -day run from London 
to Port Chalmers in 1876. On another occasion, whilst 
racing one of the ''Cities" to New Zealand, she lost her 
foremast, and I have a photograph of her as she 
appeared under jury rig. 

Both ships lived to a ripe old age. 

The City of Agra was wrecked on Cape Sable on the 
31st March, 1907, when on a passage from New York 
to Bridgewater. The Sam Mendel, after being twice 
sold and twice renamed, the first time Charlonus and 
secondly Hannah, was at last condemned and broken up 
in June, 1909. Thus it will be seen that City of Arga 
was afloat 47 years and Sam Mendel 48 years, which 
speaks volumes for the good workmanship of their 
builders. 

'* Dharwar." 

The Dharwar, which was one of Harland & 
Wolff's finest productions, originally belonged to the 
Indian " Iron Ship Company.'* Though the company 
made money in the early sixties, a slump in freights 
brought it into the hands of the Receiver after a very 
short existence. The Dharwar sailed for England in 
1868, and on her arrival was bought by John Willis, 



206 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

who always had an eagle eye for a good ship. He 
fitted her for emigrants and during the seventies she 
was usually carrying passengers outward ; later she 
became a favourite Sydney trader, and when loading at 
Circular Quay was usually to be seen on the cross berth 
opposite the old Paragon Hotel. A beautifully built 
ship, with teakwood decks, the Dhanvar was also a 
very consistent performer, and made a good name for 
herself under Captain Freebody. Before settling down 
in the Australian trade, Captain Freebody took her to 
Calcutta sometimes for a Dundee jute cargo, he also 
took her across the Pacific, and made a very fine passage 
from Frisco to Liverpool in 1872-3 of 97 days. As 
late as 1902 I find the old ship arriving at Fremantle 
on 24th May, 80 days out from Barry. Willis even- 
tually sold her to the Swedes, who sent her to the ship- 
breakers in 1909, after 45 years of service. 

The Strange Career of ** Antiope." 

The Antiope was one of the earliest of Joseph 
Heap's ships, and, like all his others, had a name which 
no sailor could possibly pronounce correctly. Indeed 
when she came out many an old salt shook his head over 
such a name. Who ever heard of a ship called the 
** Ant i -hope" coming to any good? However she 
upset the predictions of the evil prophets by being one 
of the luckiest ships ever launched, and at the present 
day must be one of the oldest ships afloat. 

She was Heap's fourth ship, I believe ; her sister ship, 
the Marpesia, having been launched from Reid's yard 
four months before her. The first ship of Heap's 
** Thames and Mersey Line " was the little Hippolyta, 
of 853 tons, built as far back as 1856. Then came the 
Eurynome, of 1347 tons, built at Whitehaven in 1862. 



THE ANTIOPE 207 

She had an unenviable reputation for small collisions, 
so was generally known as the ** You're into me. " 

For some years the Thames and Mersey Line was 
managed by Thompson, May & Co., of Water Street, 
Liverpool. The ships carried emigrants and general 
cargo from Liverpool to Melbourne, then crossing to the 
Bay of Bengal, often with walers to Madras or Calcutta, 
they came home from Rangoon with Heap 's rice. They 
generally sailed from Liverpool on the 10th of each 
month. In the early eighties the line was bought by 
Mr. Beazley to start his son, and was henceforth known 
as the Australian Shipping Company, managed by 
Gracie, BeazW & Co. 

The Aniiope made her best passage in 1868, running 
out to Melbourne under Captain Withers in 68 days, and 
but for being hung up on the line for 10 days would have 
gone near to breaking the record. 

After Beazley sold her she was for some years in the 
South American trade. Then during the Russo- 
Japanese war she was captured by the Japanese whilst 
under Russian colours. The Japs sold her to Mr. 
J. J. R. Matheson, of Ladysmith, British Columbia, 
and for a short while she was in the timber trade. The 
world war found her lying in a New Zealand port, doing 
duty as a coal hulk for the Paparoa Coal Co. Here the 
Otago Rolling Mills bought her at a stiff price, and like 
many another old sailing ship, she came out of her 
retirement with a new set of wings in order to brave the 
German submarines and keep the old Red Duster flying. 

In 1916, she got ashore on the coast when making for 
Bluff Harbour in a gale of wind, and there she lay on 
her side in the wash of the tide for 96 days. At last, 
with tonnage pretty near worth its weight in gold, an 
attempt was made to float her. For this purpose a 



208 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

large steam trawler, fitted with pumps to throw 10,000 
gallons a mimite, was brought down to this most 
southerly port in the Empire. No progress, however, 
was made until a journalist named Bannerman, with the 
inquisitiveness of his kind, got down into the Antiope^s 
fore peak by means of a rope ladder and discovered the 
chief leak. Then, with mats over the bow, the pumps 
slowly overcame the water, the Antiope righted and 
finally floated. She was then towed round to Port 
Chalmers, docked, repaired and once more fitted for 
sea. From Port Chalmers she ran across to Newcastle, 
N.S.W., in ballast, making the trip in the good time of 
12 daj^s. Here she loaded coal for Valparaiso, after 
refusing a £9000 freight to the United Kingdom. Again 
she made a good passage. From Chile she went up to 
San Francisco. And she is still earning money at the 
wonderful age of 54 years. 
** Theophane." 

The Theophane was probably the fastest of all 
Heap's ships, and was built on sharper lines than the 
Aniiope or Marpesia, On her maiden passage — the 
abstract log of which I give in the Appendix — she went 
out to Hobson's Bay under Captain Follett in QQ days. 

Her first 12 passages to Melbourne were 66, 75, 75, 70 
80, 73, 73, 82, 73, 75, 79 and 77 days, giving an average 
of 75 days, this being from the Channel. 

On the 11th December, 1891, she sailed from 
Newcastle, N.S.W. , with a cargo of coal for Valparaiso, 
and was never heard of again. 

Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn and the Loch Line of 
Glasj^ow. 

The best known line of sailing ships running 
to Australia since the use of iron shipbuilding has 
undoubtedly been the famous Loch Line of Glasgow. 




" THEOPHANE." 



:-^r. 




" DHARWAR." 



[To face page 20%. 



THE LOCH LINE 209 

It was started in 1867 by two young men who had 
been in the employ of Patriek Henderson & Co. — these 
were William Aitken and James Lilburn. In the 
old days it was the custom for owners to make a daily 
visit to intending shippers; this was Aitken 's part of 
the work and he continued to make a practice of it long 
after other owners had given it up. Lilburn super- 
intended the loading and despatching of their ships, 
and so great was his practical knowledge and so keen 
his interest that it is no exaggeration to say that no 
ships were better kept up than the Loch liners. All 
over the world the Loch Line clippers were held up by 
seamen as examples of what well run and comfortable 
ships should be. A keen yachtsman and a one-time 
Commodore of the Royal Northern Yacht Club, Mr. 
Lilburn was a man who not only thoroughly under- 
stood ships but loved them for their own sake. And it 
is under such owners that sailors consider themselves 
lucky to serve. 

The ships carried first, second and third class pas- 
sengers outwards, and when steam began to cut in 
they still held on until they were the last of all the 
sailing ships to continue carrying passengers. Many 
an invalid or consumptive has gained fresh vigour and 
untold benefit from a voyage to the Antipodes in a 
Loch liner. 

The saloon fares charged were: — £40 to Adelaide and 
Melbourne, £42 to Sydney, £76 for the round trip out 
and home. 

The *»Clan Ranald,'' **Ben Nevis" and **Loch 
Awe." 

Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn commenced business 
by chartering the Clan Ranald, Ben Nevis and Loch 



210 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Arve. The Clan Ranald they eventually bought and 
renamed the Loch Rannoch. 

Captain Bully Martin, who was afterwards one of 
the best known skippers in the Loch Line, superintended 
the building of the Clan Ranald, and took command 
of her for the first few years of her existence. 

Bully Martin was a great personality amongst sailing 
ship skippers. He was a driver of the old type, and 
stories referring to Bully Forbes are often mixed up 
with those referring to Bully Martin. He nevertheless 
was such a consummate seaman that in 45 years' 
service as master he never cost the underwriters a 
penny, and only lost a couple of men, one through a 
fall from aloft and one from being washed overboard. 
He is said to have hated passengers. He served his 
time in Allan's beautiful little Transatlantic sailing 
ships — his first ship being the Caledonia, a full-rigged 
ship carrying royals and stunsails though only of 
390 tons. She was commanded by Captain Wylie, who 
was afterwards marine superintendent of the Allan Line. 
After passing for mate, he obtained the berth in the 
900 -ton iron ship Shandon, which was fitted with patent 
reefing gear for topgallant sails, topsails and courses. 
She made three voyages a season to Montreal and in the 
winter ran to the Southern States for cotton. After 
four years as mate, he obtained command of the Eden- 
dale, belonging to the same owners, Messrs. W. Kidston 
& Son, of Glasgow. His next command was the Lord 
Clyde, wh ich he left for the Clan Ranald. He commanded 
her for two or three voyages and then went to Watson 
Bros., commanding the Ben Vefiue, Ben Voirlich and 
Ben Cruachan in turn, after which he returned to the 
Loch Line, and after having the Loch Ness and Loch 
Long, commanded the Loch Broom until he retired from 



THE LOCH LINE 211 

the sea in 1907, the very year, curiously enough, that 
Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn sold his first ship in their 
employ. 

On 22nd February, 1907, the Loch Rannoch left 
Melbourne under Captain Morrison with the usual cargo 
of wool, hides and tallow for Hull, at which port she 
arrived on 8th June, 106 days out. After discharging 
she returned to Glasgow, and was then sold to the 
Norwegians. In November, 1910, she was again sold 
to the Germans, and has since been broken up. 

The Ben Nevis after making her maiden voyage under 
charter to Aitken & Lilburn became one of Watson's 
passenger ships to Australia. On 14th July, 1897, 
when bound to Dunedin from Glasgow, she unexpectedly 
appeared in Hobson's Bay, having put in to repair 
damages which had taken place 12 days before in the 
Southern Ocean. It appeared that she had been swept 
from stem to stern bj'' a tremendous wave ; two of the 
crew had been taken overboard along with everything 
movable on the main deck ; besides which the break of 
the poop had been burst in and the interior so gutted 
that her ofjlcers had nothing but the clothes they stood 
up in. The repairs cost £3000. 

In 1898 the Ben Nevis was sold to the Norwegians 
and renamed Astoria. On 24th January, 191*2, she was 
abandoned, dismasted, in the Atlantic, after being 
set on fire, her crew being taken off by the steamer 
Dungeness and landed at Penzance. 

The Loch Awe is known for her record passage to 
Auckland, New Zealand, under Captain Weir. 

Gravesend to Auckland 73 days. 
Pilot to pilot 69 days. 

As far as I know this record still holds good. 
Captain Weir was a great driver, and the Loch Awe 



212 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

came into Auckland with everything washed off her 
decks, including hen coops, spare spars and all her 
boats. She was carrying emigrants who had had a 
terrible time, having been battened down for days on 
end. On her arrival she was delayed a week, as she had 
reached Auckland before her papers, the mails in those 
days coming via Panama to New Zealand. 

The Famous ** Patriarch" — First Iron Ship of 
the Aberdeen White Star Line. 

In 1869 the Aberdeen White Star Line gave their 
first order for an iron clipper ship, the result of which was 
the famous Patriarch. George Thompson was only con- 
tented with the very best, and Patriach was no exception 
to his rule. Built of the best iron plating at a cost of 
£24,000, she was considered the finest iron ship in the 
world when she first came out. She had a poop 90 feet 
long, under which extended a magnificent saloon. In 
her rigging plan she was a long way in advance of her 
times. Her topmasts and lower masts were in one, 
and her topgallant masts were telescopic, fitting into 
the topmasts ; and in the seventies she was, fitted with 
double topgallant yards on fore and main, whilst 
she still carried stunsails in the eighties when most ships 
had discarded them. 

As a sea boat she proved herself on numberless 
occasions, notably in the Indian cyclone of 1892, 
which she weathered out with only the loss of a life- 
boat, whilst the fine Loch liner. Loch Vennachar, was 
totally dismasted 70 miles away. She possessed that 
very rare quality in iron vessels — dryness. And during 
her life of 29 years under the Red Ensign she never 
had a serious accident and never made a bad passage. 

Patriarch* s best 24 hours' run was 366 miles, and 



r^rr •^^^^%irn^^^rr:yK?: 




PATRIARCH 218 

her best week's run was 2060 miles, her main royal 
being set the whole time. 

Patriarch was no doubt lucky in her captains : 
Captain Pile took her from the stocks until 1876, Captain 
Plater had her ten voyages from 1877 to 1887, Captain 
Allan from 1887 to 1890, and Captain Mark Breach took 
her until she was sold in 1898, during which time, he 
says, that she never stranded a ropey arn. 

Patriarch^ s maiden voyage was almost as much of a 
record as Thermopylae's, each passage being the best 
ever made by an iron ship at that date. On her outward 
passage with 40 passengers and a large general cargo, 
she arrived in Sydney on 10th February, 1870, only 
67 days from pilot to pilot, and 74 anchorage to anchor- 
age. And on the homeward run she went from Sydney 
Heads to the West India Dock in 69 days. This was 
an extraordinary performance, as anything under 90 
days is very good for an iron ship on the homeward 
passage. 

After this the Patriarch was one of the most regular 
ships in the Sydney trade. She was never much over 
80 days going out, and though she never repeated her 
maiden performance coming home her passages were 
most consistent and she only twice ran into three figures 
in over 20 passages from Sydney. 

In 1897-8 the good old ship sailed her last voyage 
under the Red Ensign — a round of London, Sydney, 
Newcastle, N.S.W., Manila and home in 13 months. 
On his arrival Captain Mark Breach was horrified to find 
that his beloved ship had been sold to the Norwegians 
for a paltry £3150, and on 1st November, 1898, he 
hauled down the celebrated house-flag and handed her 
over to her new owners. 

For another 14 years she washed about the seas, 



214 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

unkempt, bare of paint and forgotten. Of her passages in 
this condition, I have picked out a couple at random: — 

1908 Monte Video to Port Victoria (Make) 64 days. 
1910 Bant jar (Java) to Delegoa Bay 57 days. 

On Christmas Day, 1911, she left Algoa Bay for a 
Gulf port, and on 23rd February, 1912, got ashore on 
Cape Corrientes, south of the River Plate, and became a 
total loss. 

The ** Thomas Stephens." 

The Thomas Stephens was one of the best known 
ships of her day . When she came out she was considered 
the most up-to-date and perfectly appointed passenger 
sailing ship ever built on the Mersey. She was in- 
tended for the old Black Ball Line, but never actually 
sailed under the famous flag, but sailed as one of the 
London Line of Australian Packets (Bethell & Co.). 
She was owned by Thomas Stephens & Sons, of London. 
Captain Richards, the well-known commander of the 
Donald Mackay, superintended her building and fitting 
out and eventually left the Donald Mackay to command 
her. 

The Thomas Stephens soon proved herself one of the 
fastest iron ships afloat, and a very successful ship 
financially. She was beautifully sparred, crossing 
three skysail yards, and was a very lofty ship — one of 
the tallest ships, indeed, that ever sailed either from the 
Mersey or the Thames ; and she carried all her stunsails 
well into the eighties. At first she was fitted with single 
topgallant yards, but followed the fashion for double 
topgallant yards before she had been afloat many years. 

She was launched in July, 1869, and left Liverpool 
on 24th September, with a full passenger list for Mel- 
bourne, arriving out on 15th December in 82 days. 




^ 



THOMAS STEPHENS 215 

On her second voyage she left Liverpool on 9th 
September, 1870, and anchored in Hobson's Bay on 21st 
November, 73 days, port to port. Alter this she 
always sailed from London as one of the London Line 
of Packets, along with her great rival The Tweed, And 
for her third voyage, I find the following advertisement 
in the Times of 5th October, 1871. 

MELBOURNE— LONDON LINE OF PACKETS. 
THOMAS STEPHENS, 
R. Richards (so well and favourably known when in command 
of the Donald Mackay and Great Victoria), commander. This superb 
clipper, 1507 tons registered, of the highest class at Lloyd's, and owned 
by Messrs. Thomas Stephens & Sons, is one of the finest specimens of 
marine architecture afloat, and made her last passage in 64 days. 
Constructed specially for the Australian passenger trade. Her spacious 
full poop saloon is fitted with bathrooms, 'cabin furniture, bedding, 
and every convenience. The second and third cabins are most com- 
fortable. Carries a surgeon, — Eethell & Co., Cowper's Court, Cornhill, 
E,C. 

Thomas Stephens left London on 26th October, 1871, 
for Melbourne, her great antagonist The Tweed sailing 
for Sydney about the same date. She crossed the line 
on 20th November in long. 29° 57' W., making 12 knots 
with the S.E. trade blowing steadily from S.E. by S. 
Her best run was 315 miles in a 23|-hour day when 
running down her easting. This was from Saturday, 9th 
December to Sunday, 10th December, and her log book 
gives the following details : — 

Saturday, 9th December, 187L— Lat. 4i° 50' S,, long. 20° 34' E 
Courses S.E. by E. J E„ S, by E„ S.E. by E, I E., S.S.E,, S.E, Winds 
E.N.E., E. by N., variable, west. A.M., strong wind and squally, 
logging 10 knots. 11 a,m,, heavy squalls, handed topgallant .sails, 
crossjack, .spanker and outer jib. P.M.. squally with heavy rain. 
A p.m., set main topgallant sail. 9 p.m., wind veering into westward; 
set fore topgallant sail and main topgallant staysail. Midnight, logging 
16 knots during last four hours 

Sunday, 10th December, 1871.— Lat. 44° 48' S., long 27° 57' E. 
Courses S.E. i E., S.E. Winds west, N.W. Distance 316 miles. A.M. 



216 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

heavy gnle, high cross sea; ship labouring and straining heavily; decks 
at times completely flooded fore and aft. 1 a.m., main topgallant 
staysail stay carried away. 7 a.m., continuation of gale, logging 16 
knots Heavy sea struck ship on starboard quarter, washing starboard 
lifeboat out of davits, completely flooding main deck and washing 
away main hatch-house. 9.30 a.m., gale moderating, made all plain 
sail, still logging 16 knots. P.M.. moderate with high cross sea; decks 
completely flooded ; have logged 1 6 knots during last 16 hours. 

On Friday, 29th December, the westerlies were so 
strong that the Thomas Stephens had to be hove to for 
4i hours, the gale being preceded by six hours' calm 
with fog ; the log reads as follows : — 

Friday. 29th December, 1871.— Lat. by ace. 45" 21' S., long. 129° T 
E. Courses N.E., E.N.E.. E. by S., N.N W., N.E. Winds variable, 
calm, N.W., west. A.M., light variable airs, thick foggy weather. 
Watch hauling up cable. 10 a.m. strong breeze, dull cloudy weather, 
logging 12 knots. 3.30 p.m., strong gale, handed topgallant sails. 
4 p.m., gale still increasing, handed upper topsails, courses and jib. 
Brought ship to the wind under lower topsails. Heavy sea running; 
decks completely flooded. 8.30 p.m., wind veering into S.W. W^ore 
ship off before the wind. 10 p.m., set foresail and upper fore topsails, 
logging 10 knots. 

On Saturday, 30th December, the gale still continued 
and the log book records : — 

Lat. by ace. 43° 57' S.. long. 134° 27' E. Courses N.E., N.E I N. 
Winds W.S.W. A.M., strong gale, high sea. Shipping a quantity of 
water over all, logging 13 knots. 4 a.m., set upper main and mizen 
topsails. 7 a.m., set topgallant sails, weather moderating, logging 
12 knots. 10 a.m., heavy sea. Decks at times completely flooded. 
P.M., strong gale and heavy sea. Shipping a quantity of water over all, 
logging 13 knots. 10 p.m., gale increasing. Handed fore and mizen 
topgallant sails, logging 14 knots. 10.30 p.m., handed main topgallant 
and mizen topsail. Midnight, strong gale and high sea; have logged 
14 knots during last six hours 

On Tuesday, 2nd January, 1872, Cape Otway bore 
north, distant 2 leagues; at 7 a.m. the pilot came on 
board and took charge, and at 1 p.m. the Thomas 
Stephens came to anchor in Hobson's Bay, 66 days out 
from her Channel pilot. From Melbourne she went 



THOMAS STEPHENS 217 

across to Calcutta in 45 days, with walers on board, and 
loaded jute home, the usual round of first-class ships in 
the seventies. 

During her long and successful career she usually 
loaded outwards to Melbourne or Sydney; but in 1879 
on her twelfth voyage she went out to Otago, and on her 
thirteenth left Liverpool on 29th April and arrived at 
Rangoon on 21st July, 83 days out. 

In 1881 she went out to San Francisco in 124 days 
from Holyhead, and coming home to Falmouth in 98 
days. Except for an occasional run to Frisco, Calcutta 
or Rangoon, she was kept regularly in the Sydney 
trade during the eighties and nineties. 

The following is a list of her best sailing records : — 

16 knots for 16 successive hours, 10th December, 1871, in 44** 48' S., 
28° 7' E. 1000 miles in 70 hours. 

16 days (the record; from Cape Horn to the line, under Captain 
Robertson. 



1870 Liverpool to Hobson's Bay; 


Sept. 9 to Nov. 21 


. . 73 davs 


1871-2 London to Hobson's Bay ; 


Oct. 26 to Jan. 2 


.. 68 ..' 


1872 Melbourne to Calcutta; 


Feb 1 to March 17 


.. 45 „ 


1872-3 Lizard to Hobson's Bay ; 


•Dec. 4 to Feb. 11 


.. 69 „ 


1873 Ushant 


Sept. 3 to Nov. 8 


.. 66 ., 


1874-5 Lizard 


Nov. 22 to Jan. 31 


.. 70 ., 


1876 Lizard 


Aug. 7 to Oct. 24 


.. 78 ., 


1877 Tuskar 


Aug. 12 to Oct. 27 


.. 76 ., 


1878 Plymouth 


June 15 to Aug. 31 


.. 77 „ 


1880 Liverpool to Rangoon ; 


April 29 to July 21 


.. 83 .. 


1880-1 Frisco to Queenstown ; 


Nov. 8 to Feb. 18 


.. 99 .. 


1881 Holyhead to Frisco: 


Jan. 12 to May 16 


.. 124 „ 


1882 Frisco to Falmouth ; 


June 7 to Sept. 13 


• • 98 „ 


1882-3 London to Sydney ; 


Nov. 8 to Jan. 22 


.. 75 .. 


1885 Antwerp to Sydney ; 


July 25 to Oct. 20 


.. 87 .. 


1886 London to Sydney; 


May 29 to Aug. 16 


.. 79 „ 



In the later eighties her passages began to slow up for 
two very good reasons: firstly her sail plan was cut down ; 
and secondly her captain, owing to a very nervous wife 
being with him, made no attempt to drive her. 



218 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Captain Richards had her through the seventies, 
except for two voyages in 1874-5 when Captain Bloom- 
field had her, then Captain Archibald Robertson com- 
manded her for half a dozen voyages, he was followed by 
Captain W. Cross, then Captains Cutler, Davis and 
Belding took her in turn. 

The Thomas Stephens was a lucky ship and kept 
singularly free of trouble; indeed she had no serious 
mishap until July, 1893, when she got well battered 
by a severe gale in 52° S., 130° W., whilst homeward 
bound from Melbourne with wheat. Her bulwarks 
were carried away from the fore rigging to abaft the 
main rigging on the starboard side and her main deck 
was swept clean. She put into Callao for repairs, but 
she was not leaking and her cargo was found to be 
undamaged. 

On her following voyage she got into more serious 
trouble in battling to get to the westward of Cape Stiff. 
She sailed from Barry on 27th December, 1894, and was 
partially dismasted off the pitch of the Horn. Put back 
to the Falklands, arriving in Stanley harbour on 28th 
February, 1895. Captain Belding, however, refused to 
agree to the extortionate demands of the Stanley ship- 
wrights, and sailed for Capetown under jury rig, 
arriving there 14th May, 1895. Here he refitted, and 
leaving Table Bay on 22nd June arrived at Esquimalt 
by the eastern route on 24th September. 

This unfortunate voyage terminated her career under 
the Red Ensign, for on her arrival home in 1896 the 
Thomas Stephens was sold to the Portuguese Government. 
The Portuguese have a singularly shrewd eye for a ship; 
and in this year they bought at breaking up prices three 
of the finest and fastest ships ever built, namely the 
Thomas Stephens^ Cutty Sark and Thermopylae, 



THOMAS STEPHENS 219 

Captain Belding was retained to sail the Thomas 
Stephens to the Tagus iinder her new flag. He had a 
Portuguese crew, and the passage was not without 
incident, for a fire broke out on board and it was chiefly 
owing to Captain Belding's personal bravery that it was 
extinguished. Indeed so pleased were the Portuguese 
with his behaviour that they presented him with a 
service of plate and a Portuguese Order, at the same time 
asking him to continue in command. For many years 
after this the Thomas Stephens served as a naval training 
ship in the Tagus in conjunction with the Thermopylae. 
She survived the famous tea clipper, however, and 
many a British naval officer has probably been aboard 
the famous old ship without realising that, disguised 
under the name of Fero d'Alemgucr, floated one of the 
crack Australian passenger ships of the seventies. 

The Great War found her lying a hulk in the Tagus. 
The Portuguese fitted her out when tonnage began to get 
scarce in 1915, and sent her across to America. On her 
return passage to Lisbon in January, 1916, she was 
posted as missing — possibly a Hun torpedo sent her 
to the bottom — and that terrible word ** missing " 
may be hiding some awful tragedy or glorious heroism. 
Anyhow her name goes on the '* Ships' Roll of Honour 
in the Great War," along with more than one of her 
sisters in the Australian trade. 

The First Six Ships of the Loch Line. 

Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn started their venture 
with six splendid ships, of 1200 tons each, all built 
during 1869-70. These were the Loch Katrine^ Loch 
Earn, Loch Lomond and Loch Leven, all built by Lawrie, 
of Glasgow, and the Loch Ness and Loch Tay, built by 
Barclay, Curie & Co. 



220 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

At first it had been intended to name the ships after 
clans, but the Clan Line registered first, and so at the 
start the *' Lochs " were advertised as the ** Clyde Line 
of Clipper Packets. " 

The Loch Katrine was the first ship away. She arrived 
in Hobson's Bay under Captain M'Callum, on 20th 
December, 1869, 81 days out from Glasgow. The Loch 
A'^e55, Captain Me iklejohn, arrived on 13th January, 1870; 
the Loch Tay, Captain Alex. Scott, on 12th February, 
1870; the Loch Earn, Captain W. Robertson, on 31st 
March, 1870 ; the Loch Lomond, Captain Grey, R.N.R. , 
on 26th May, 1870; and the Loch Leven, Captain 
Branscombe, on 19th August, 1870. 

Of the six clippers, the Loch Tay made the best passage 
out, being only 73 days, anchorage to anchorage. 
Running her easting down, her best week's run was 
over 2000 miles, and she averaged 285 miles a day for 
nine consecutive days. Stunsails and large crews were 
carried by the Loch clippers right up to the end of the 
seventies; and the following passages under these 
conditions will show their speed capabilities : — 

TUSKAR TO CAPE OTWAY. 
Loch Katrine 
Loch Ness 
Loch Tay 

Their average, pilot to pilot, 69 J days ; port to port, 
77 days. 

Four of these ships lived to a good old age, whilst the 
other two came to early and tragic ends. 

When sailing ship freights began to fall, the Lochs 
Katrine, Tay, Ness and Lomond were converted into 
barques, but in, spite of losing the yards on the mizen, 
they continued to make good passages right into the 
twentieth century. 



74 days 


Loch Earn 


. 63 days 


68 .. 


Loch Lomond . 


. 76 „ 


67 .. 


Loch Leven 


• 68 „ 



LOCH KATRINE 221 

The Loefi Katrine made her best passage in 1893, 
from the Channel to Melbourne in 71 days. 

In 1907 she was nearly lost running her easting down 
when bound out to Australia. It was blowing hard 
from the S.W., and a heavy sea broke aboard, tearing 
up the standard compass and washing it into the 
scuppers, besides smashing up a lifeboat and floating 
the gig out of its chocks. The next roller came right 
over the stern, crumpling up the wheel and binnacle 
and breaking in the cabin skylight. The men at the 
wheel were washed away, and the ship broached to, 
filling her main deck to the rail. All hands were called 
to save the ship, and as usual in such cases, it meant 
risking life and limb to venture along the flooded main 
deck and man the braces. Howevfer Captain Anderson 
managed to get his ship off before the wind and by the 
following night a jury wheel of capstan bars had been 
lashed on to the remains of the old wheel. 

Three years later, in 1910, the Loch Katrine was 
dismasted off Cape Howe. After a perilous trip of 
three days, a boat in charge of her mate was picked up 
near the land by a Swedish steamer, and a tug was sent 
out from Sydney, which found the disabled ship and 
towed her into Port Jackson. The Loch Katrine was 
then sold in Australia, and for some years earned a 
living carrying coal round the coast. So far as I know 
she is still afloat 

The fastest of these six ships, in my opinion, was the 
Loch Ness. In 1874-5 she beat the time of her maiden 
voyage by going out to Melbourne in 67 days. The 
following voyage she went out in 74 days; but what is 
more astonishing is the time of her passages, in her old 
age when cut down, rigged as a barque and with small 
and indifferent crews 



222 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Under these conditions she made the following five 
runs home from either Melbourne or Adelaide: — 1893, 
85 days; 1894, 87 days; 1895, 85 days; 1899, 90 days; 
1900, 91 days ; and she finished her active career by two 
splendid passages. In 1906 she came home from 
Melbourne to Hull, laden with wool and wheat, in 79 
days; and on 20th May, 1907, she left the Tail of the 
Bank for Adelaide, crossed the equator 28 days out, 
passed the Cape meridian on 9th July, and arrived at 
the Semaphore anchorage on 4th August, 76 days out. 
On 16th June when in lat. 3° N. she fell in witha9-knot 
tramp steamer bound to the southward; and the two 
ships were constantly in company for 2000 miles, and it 
was not until they were south of lat. 30° S. that the 
steamer saw the last of the old Loch Ness. 

Running her easting down the Loch Ness averaged 245 
knots for 18 consecutive days, her best day's work being 
just under 300 miles. Captain M. Heddle, who had 
previously commanded the Loch Rannoch. was in charge 
of the Loch Ness and deserved great credit for this fine 
performance as a wind up to the old clipper's career. 
The Loch Ness was sold in Adelaide along with her 
sister ship, the Loch Tay, and the celebrated pair are 
ending their days together as coal hulks for the 
N.D.L. Co. at Adelaide. 

There was probably not much to choose between the 
two sister ships in point of speed, though Loch Ness 
had slightly the better record. Loch Tay, however, 
had many fine runs to her credit. For many years 
she brought wool home from Gee long, her passages 
being most consistent and rarely being much over 
90 days. 

The Loch Earn became world -notorious by her fatal 
collision with the French Transatlantic mail steamer 



LOCH LINERS 223 

Ville du Havre. On 21st November, 1873, on a bright 
starlight night, the Loch liner struck the steamer right 
amidships, cutting her down to the water's edge. The 
Fille du Havre sank in 12 minutes, and Captain 
Robertson of the Loch Earn was only able to save 26 of 
her passengers and 61 of the crew, 226 souls in all going 
down in the Frenchman. The following day the 
American packet ship Tremountain was fallen in with, 
and Captain Robertson transferred the survivors to her 
and they were landed at Cardiff. Two days later the 
Loch Earn, being fatally injured by the collision, also 
sank, Captain Robertson and his crew being rescued by 
a passing ship. 

The Loch Ijomond, which in her palmy days under 
Commander Grey, R.N.R., was known as the Scotch 
man-of-war owing to her smart appearance, was a 
steady going ship without any very special records to 
her credit. In May, 1908, she was sold to the Union 
S.S.Co. of New Zealand to be converted into a coal 
hulk. Loading a cargo of coal at Newcastle, N.S.W., 
she left there on 16th July, 1908, bound for Lyttelton, 
N.Z., under Captain J. Thomson. But time went 
by and she never arrived, and in due course she was 
posted as missing. The only trace of her that was 
ever found was a life-buoy which was picked up on 
the New Hebrides. 

The Loch Leven came to a sudden end on her second 
voyage. On 22nd October, 1871, she left Geelong for 
London with 6523 bales of wool on board, valued at 
£154,000. Two days later she stranded on King's 
Island and became a total loss. All her crew got ashore 
safely, but Captain Branscombe ventured back in a surf 
boat to rescue the ship's papers. The boat capsized 
and the captain was drowned. 



224 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



King's Island— A Death Trap for Ships. 

King's Island, lying 80 miles S.S.W. of Port 
Phillip Heads, has been the cause of many a fine ship's 
end. Nearly 50 sailing ships, from first to last, have 
found a grave in the King's Island surf. A Captain 
Davis, who for many years carried cattle between the 
island, Melbourne and Tasmania in the coasting 
steamer Yambacoona, made a list some ten years ago of 
36 ships known to have perished on the rocky shores of 
King's Island. This list, which was included with 
other interesting data regarding tides, currents and 
pilotage notes of King's Island, was used by the Hydro- 
graphic Office, Washington, U.S.A., and contains the 
following names : — 



Neva. 


ship wrec 


ked 1835 


Cataraque. 


. . ship 


1845 


City of Melbourne. ship 


1853 refloated 


Waterwitch, 


. . barque 


1854 


Bruthen, 


.. schooner 


,, 


Elizabeth, 


.. ketch 


1855 


Whistler, 


. . schooner ,, 


,, 


Maypole, 


.. schooner 


1856 


Katherine, 


.. schooner 


1861 


Brahmin. 


.. schooner 


1862 


Favor, 


. . schooner 


1864 


A trow. 


.. schooner 


1865 


Dart. 


. . cutter 


., 


Netherby. 


. . schooner 


1866 


Europa, 


.. brig 


1868 


Omagh. 


.. barque 


,, 


Helen Ann, 


. . ketch 


,, 


Loch Leven 


. . ship 


1871 


Ocean Brid 


ge. . . brig 


,, 


Martha Lov 


inia, .. schooner 


,, 


A rrow, 


. . . barque 


1873 


Cape Pigeo 


n, . . cutter 


1874 


British Adi 


niral, . . ship 


,, 


Blencathra, 


. . barque 


1875 


Dart, 


.. ketch 


1876 




i 



i 



MERMERUS" alongside. 




" MILTIADES." 



Photo by Captain Schutze, Sydney 



[To face page 225. 



SHIPS LOST ON KING'S ISLAND 



225 



Flying Squirrel, . . 


schooner 


wrecked 


1876 


Ahrona, 


barquentine ,. 


1877 


Mary Ann, 


schooner 






1878 


Anna, 


barque 






,, 


Peerless, 


ketch 






,, 


Kalahone, . . 


barque 






1879 


Loch Lomond, 


schooner 






1891 


Garfield 


schooner 






1897 


Landisfarne, 


ship 






1904 refloated 


Earl of Linlithgow, 


ketch 






,, 


Clytie, 


ketch 






1006 


Shannon, , . 


schooner 






,, 



On many parts of King's Island's rocky shore these 
wrecks have been piled one on top of the other, one reef of 
rocks alone tearing the life out of no less than six vessels. 
No doubt the list is far from being complete ; there was 
no light on King's Island in the earlier days, and this 
no doubt was the cause of many an unknown tragedy. 

•*Miltiades." 

George Thompson's second iron ship was the 
beautiful Miltiades, for many years a favourite ship in 
the Melbourne trade. Like the Patriarch, she was 
built for the emigrant trade, and in the Australian 
papers was spoken of as ** that mammoth clipper," 
though to modern eyes she would look quite small and 
one of the daintiest of ships. Unlike Patriarch she was 
a very wet ship, especially when running in heavy 
weather, but she was just as fast as the Patriarch, if 
not faster — indeed taking her average, both outward 
and homeward, I do not think that any ship can beat 
her record for an iron ship except the little Salamis. 

Captain Perrett took her from the stocks and had her 
until 1885, when Captain Harry Ayling assumed 
command. On her first voyage she carried stunsails, 
but when she got home the booms were sent down and 
never used again. 
1 



226 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Her best outward passage was made in 1873, being 
70 days dock to dock, 63 days pilot to pilot. She left 
London on 5th May, dropped her pilot off the Start on 
12th May. Had very light winds to the equator, crossed 
the line on 6th June in 27° 30' W., crossed the meridian 
of the Cape on 24th June in 44° S. On 24th, 25th and 
26th June she ran 305, 310, and 345 miles. Crossed 
the meridian of Cape Leeuwin on 9th July, and was off 
the Otway on 14th July, only 20 days from the Cape, 
finally anchored in Hobson's Bay on the 15th; just 
39 days from the equator. On this passage her decks 
were lumbered up with sheep pens, and one can well 
imagine what an unpleasant time those sheep must have 
had w'hen she was running her easting down. 

In 1874 Miltiades was diverted from Melbourne to 
Wellington. Emigration to New Zealand was booming 
and many extra ships had to be taken up ; for instance 
the La Hogue took 443 emigrants to Wellington, the 
fine iron Calcutta clipper Ballochmyle took 484 to 
Canterbury and the Rooparell 361 to Auckland. 

The change was very near being the end of Miltiades, 
for she missed stays whilst beating up to Wellington 
and slid on to a reef. Captain Perrett immediately 
fired his signal guns and sent up a rocket to attract 
attention. Luckily for him the inter-colonial steamer 
had just rounded the North Heads bound in and at once 
went to his assistance, and after one or two failures 
managed to get the Miltiades off. It was not until 
many years later that the MilUades was again seen 
in Maoriland, but in the early nineties she made the 
following fine runs home: — 

1 890 Lyttelton to London, February 8 to April 27 78 days 

1891 Wellington to London, January 14 to April 6 82 

W^hen the Aberdeen White Star sold their ships the 



THE MERMERUS 



227 



Italian owners of the Titania bought the Miltiades. 
She was finally condemned and broken up in 1905. 

Carmichaers Superb Wool Clipper **Mermeru8." 

This beautiful ship was one of the finest and most 
successful of all the iron wool clippers, and as a specimen 
of an iron sailing ship she could hardly be beaten, either 
for looks, speed or sea worthiness. Barclay, Curie 
never turned out a more graceful and handsome ship as 
looks; and like all Carmichael's, she was most beauti- 
fully sparred, crossing the main skysail yard, which was 
so characteristic a feature of their ships. I give her 
spar plan below. 

SPAR PLAN OF MERMERUS. 



Spars 


Fore 


Main 


Mizen 


Masts — deck to truck 


166 feet 


161 feet 


135 feet 


Lowermast 






64 „ 


68 ,. 


56 „ 


Doubling 






m , 


m ,. 


14 ,. 


Topmast 






67 .. 


67 .. 


48 „ 


Doubling 






11 .. 


Hi „ 


10 „ 


Topgallant mast 






32 „ 


32 „ 


26 „ 


Royal mast 






17 ., 


17i ., 


16 „ 


Skysail mast 






13i .. 


m .. 


12i .. 


Lower yard 






87 ., 


88 ,. 


73J .. 


Lower topsail yard 






74J „ 


76 .. 


62 ., 


Upper topsail yard 






73 .. 


73i „ 


60 .. 


Lower topgallant yard 






57^ .. 


60 ,, 


52 ,. 


Upper topgallant yard 






56 ,. 


66 „ 


46 .. 


Royal yard 






44 „ 


44 ,, 


32 „ 


Skysail j'^ard 








32 „ 




Jibboom 72 it. 


Spanker boom 66 ft. 


Spanker gaft 37 ft. 



This is her original spar plan. Barclay, Curie planned 
her spars for three skysails, but the fore and mizen were 
not sent aloft. Mermerus had a poop 54 feet long, and a 
foc's'lehead 32 feet long. She carried a cargo of 10,000 
bales of wool, representing the fleeces of a million sheep 
and worth £130,000 more or less as wool varied in price. 



228 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

She never made a bad voyage under the Golden Fleece 
house-flag, and the regularity with which she arrived 
every year in time for the February wool sales caused her 
to receive the most out-spoken praise. On one occasion, 
when as usual she had arrived in time and several 
notable ships had missed the sales, Mr. Young, of the 
Australian Mortgage Land and Finance Company, 
greeted one of the Carmichaels in Cornhill with the 
heart-felt remark: — *'That ship of yours is the most 
satisfactory ship in the wool trade." 

Most of those connected with the Mermerus regarded 
her with great affection and spoke of her as a living 
thing. Mr. John Sanderson, a well-known Melbourne 
merchant, was often heard to say : — * *The Mermerus is a 
wonderful ship, I can always depend on the Mermerus.** 

The Melbourne people, indeed, looked upon her as the 
pride of their port; and Lord Brassey, when Governor 
of Victoria, heard so much about her that he paid her 
a special visit and inspected her with the approving 
eye of a seaman. 

Captain W. Fife commanded her until 1888, and then 
Captain T. G. Coles had her until she was sold to the 
Russians. Except for her third voyage she was always 
in the Melbourne trade, but in April, 1874, she w^ent 
out to Sydney. On this passage she took out a dozen 
South Sea Island missionaries as passengers. Whilst 
in the North Atlantic she happened to be becalmed for 
a few hours, and several turtle were noticed lying asleep 
on the water close to her. Captain Fife, who was a 
great fisherman, immediately launched a boat and 
succeeded in capturing six of them. 

The Mermerus duly arrived in Sydney early one 
morning in June after a splendid passage of 72 days. 
The passengers, on the morning of her arrival, were 



THE MERMERUS 229 

joined at breakfast by a troop of friends, who so enjoyed 
themselves that they all returned, sky -pilots and friends 
as well, to the mid -day shipboard dinner, and at its 
finish declared that they would all return again for 
supper. This was too much for Captain Fife and he 
plainly said so. The parsons thereupon began grumb- 
ling at his meanness, whereat the irate skipper fairly 
boiled over : — * *You are the greediest lot I ever carried, ' ' 
he thundered; *'on a 70-day passage you have eaten 
up 140 days of cabin stores and six turtle besides — and 
you call me a stingy Scottie. Now clear out and never 
let me see you again. *' 

This voyage she did not come home with wool, but 
went up to Newcastle, N.S.W., and loaded coal at 24s. 
for San Francisco. After making the passage across the 
Pacific in 56 days, she loaded 2420 tons of wheat at 
£4 Is. 3d. for Liverpool. She finally arrived in the 
Mersey on the 25th May, 104 days out from Frisco. 
This must have been a good voyage for her owners, as 
the freight on the outward passage to Sydney alone 
came to £5000. 

On her next voyage she left Liverpool Docks on 21st 
July, 1875, and went from the Tuskar to Melbourne in 
69 days; this time she loaded wheat home. 

She made her best passage out in 1876; leaving 
London on the 25th June, she took in gunpowder at 
Gravesend, and arrived in Hobson's Bay on 30th 
August, exactly 66 days from the Gravesend powder 
buoys to Melbourne. The powder was only just 66 
days on board, being landed on the 67th day. She 
crossed the line on 17th July and the Cape meridian 
on 6th August. Her best homeward run was made 
the following year, when she was 71 days to the 
Lizard, and then was held up by head winds. And in 



280 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

1886-7 she docked in London only 78 days out from 
Melbourne. 

And as she grew older, her splendid average in no 
way deteriorated. In 1896 she went out to Melbourne 
in 76 days, and in 1897, her last voyage under the 
British flag, she went out in 77 days. She was then 
sold to the Russians, but they kept her going. On 4th 
February, 1902, she arrived at Port Adelaide from 
Cardiff only 73 days out, whilst in 1904 she made the 
best passage home from the Antipodes of the year, from 
Adelaide to the Wight in 69 days. 

This beautiful ship came to her end at the beginning 
of December, 1909. She had sailed from Frederickstadt 
on 29th November, timber laden for Melbourne, and 
stranded near Christiansand in a heavy fog; she was 
floated again, but was found to be so damaged that it 
was not thought worth the money to repair her, so on 
28th April, 1910, she was soJd to the shipbreakers. 

Devitt & Moore's •*Collingwood." 

Collingwood was Devitt & Moore's first venture 
into the Melbourne wool trade. She was one of the 
early Aberdeen built iron clippers, and thoroughly 
looked her part. Though she made no very remarkable 
passage, her voyages were very regular, and it was not 
often that she missed the wool sales. You could not 
wear out these early iron ships, and the Collingwood has 
the distinction of being on the ** Ships' Roll of Honour 
in the Great War, ' ' being sunk by a German submarine 
on 12th March, 1917, whilst under Norwegian colours. 
The story is of the usual kind. The officers and crew of 
the U-boat were drunk with champagne and cognac 
obtained from the French ship Jtiles GommeSf which 
they had sunk two hours previously. The crew of the 



THE COLLINGWOOD 281 

Collingwood were given ten minutes only to get clear of 
the ship. The captain, being a neutral, naturally 
wanted his papers examined for contraband, but the 
German U-boat conmiander sneeringly told him that 
there would be time enough to examine them when the 
submarine got home, and so one more was added to 
Germany's long list of crimes, and the famous old flyer 
sank beneath the waves after 45 years of honest service, 

•* Hesperus " and *• Aurora," the First Iron 
Ships of the Orient Line. 

In 1873-4 Robert Steele & Co., the celebrated 
builders and designers of some of the fastest and most 
beautiful tea clippers, built two magnificent iron 
clippers for the Orient Line. These were the Hesperus 
and Aurora, sister ships. 

The Aurora unfortunately was destroyed by tire on her 
first homeward passage, through spontaneous com- 
bustion of her wool cargo. This occurred on 9th August, 
1875, in 40° N., 35° W., and she was finally abandoned 
in flames with fore and mainmasts gone. 

The Hesperus, her sister ship, is I, believe, still afloat. 
Steele put some wonderful workmanship into the 
building of these ships, everything was of the best; 
deck fittings were all of picked teak, with enough brass 
to outshine a steam yacht. Besides being a very 
comfortable ship for passengers, Hesperus soon proved 
herself a hard ship to keep with. But like most of the 
big passenger clippers of the seventies she did not race 
home, but made a comfortable passage via the Cape. 
This ship, in fact, was never hard driven, or she would 
have had many more fine passages to her credit. 

She was a stiff ship in spite of a tall sail plan, and she 



282 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

used to send up skysail yards in the tropics though she 
did not habitually carry them crossed. 

Anderson, Anderson kept the fl^^^perw* in the Adelaide 
trade until 1890, when she was bought by Devitt & 
Moore for Lord Brassey's training scheme. 

The Brassey Cadet Training Scheme. 

In the year 1890 it was felt by the late Lord 
Brassey, Sir Thomas Devitt and others who were 
interested in our Mercantile Marine, that it was time 
some effort was made to train apprentices on the old 
system of the Blackwall frigates, whereby parents by 
paying a larger premium could be sure that .their sons 
learnt more seafaring than how to wash out a pig pen 
or clean brasswork during their four years' apprentice- 
ship and also could rest assured that they would receive 
good food and treatment. This was all the more necessary 
because it had gradually come to be the custom in many 
sailing ships to use the apprentices merely as drudges 
to do all the dirty work aboard, the historic ship's boy 
having been for many years extinct on deep water ships ; 
at the same time very few captains gave their apprentices 
any instruction in navigation. The result of this was 
that parents were less inclined than ever to send their 
sons to sea. 

With both steamship and sailing ships being run to the 
closest margin possible for the sake of economy, it was 
seen by those who studied the question that not only 
was the Mercantile Marine failing to get as good a class 
of officer as it should do, but also that if the condition of 
the apprentice was not improved there would soon be a 
shortage. 

A great deal of the glamour of sea life had already 
departed. Cleaning hen coops on a close-run wind- 



CADET TRAINING SCHEME 233 

jammer had little of the old romance about it, and 
chipping iron work on a dingy steam tramp had even 
less. A few firms, of which those in the wool trade 
were shining examples, still took a pride in their ships 
and did not look upon them merely as a commercial 
asset, and these still took trouble to train their appren- 
tices. Beyond these and a few individual ships with 
conscientious captains, the apprentice was absolutely 
neglected, and of course the apathetic Board of Trade 
did nothing. The history of the Board of Trade has 
been mostly that of a masterly inactivity, and on the 
rare occasions on which it has displayed activity, it has 
not usually been for the benefit of the Mercantile Marine. 

It was entirely owing to Lord Brassey and Mr. Devitt, 
as he was then, that we possess such highly trained 
officers as those who now command the present day 
liners. They set the ball rolling which was later taken 
up by most of the big steamship lines. Luckily for the 
success of the venture, Messrs. Devitt & Moore possessed 
two or three captains in their employ who were specially 
fitted for the arduous task of controlling and teaching 
a shipload of 30 or 40 high-spirited boys. Of such were 
Captains Barrett, Corner and Maitland. 

The first two ships to be specially fitted to carry an 
extra number of big premium apprentices or cadets, as 
they should be called, were the famous Orient pair, 
Hesperus and Harhinger. which were taken over by 
Devitt & Moore for the purpose. 

The Hesperus as a cadet ship made some very fine 
passages. 

She left London on 11th September, 1891, and arrived 
Sydney on the 8th December 88 days out. There 
happened to be a gold rush up country and her crew 
cleared out, leaving the cadets to do everything during 



234 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

the four months the ship was waiting for a wool cargo. 
The cadets were not idle and played the usual pranks 
of their kind, and finally the Hesperus left Sydney with 
the three brass balls of a famous pawnbrokers in Argyle 
Cut dangling from the end of her jibboom before the 
envious eyes of the apprentices of all the ships in port. 

On llthXDctober, 1892, she left London with Captain 
Barrett in command, F. W. Corner, chief officer, and 
Lieut. Hackman, R.N., as naval instructor. She was 
off the Lizard on the 13th and crossed the equator in 
30° W. on 8th November. The meridian of Greenwich 
was crossed on 29th November in 42° S. Her best runs 
in easting weather were 300, 302, 319, 326 and 328 miles, 
whilst her best week's work were 1830, 1840 and 1898. 
She arrived at Melbourne on 23rd December, 71 days 
from the Lizard. 

In the following year she again left on the 11th October 
and took her departure from the Lizard on 18th October. 
On 1st November, at 1.10 a.m., when in 26° 20' N., 17° 
56' W., the shock of a submarine volcano made the ship 
tremble very much, though the surface of the water was 
not disturbed. The equator was crossed in 25° W. on 
8th November. And on 30th November, the day before 
she crossed the Cape meridian, three icebergs were 
sighted. On 10th December with a strong north wind 
and smooth water, the Hesperus ran 363 miles in the 24 
hours. This was done without the mainsail which, at 
4 a.m., was badly torn whilst all hands were attempting 
to reef it and it had to be furled. 

On 28th December at 6 p.m. the Otway was sighted 
during a strong southerly gale with heavy squalls ; for 
some hours the ship was hove to whilst the gale was at 
its height, but on 29th December the Hesperus anchored 
in Hobson's Bay, 72 days from the Lizard. 



BENS CRUACHAN AND VOIRLICH 285 

The Hesperus kept up this fine average, serving as a 
cadet training ship until 1899 when she was sold to the 
Russians, who renamed her the Grand Duchess Maria 
Nikolaevntty but continued her as a training ship in the 
Black Sea. As late as 1913 she was refitted by Swan & 
Hunter at Wallsend. She has survived the war and the 
Bolshevists, and not long ago could have been seen in the 
Liverpool Docks. 

••Ben Cruachan" and ''Ben Voirlich." 

These two splendid sister ships were amongst 
the hardest driven of those in the Melbourne trade. 
They carried saloon, second cabin and steerage pas- 
sengers out and wool home — and there was no snugging 
down for the convenience of the sorely tried emigrants 
with such skippers as Captains Bully Martin and 
McPetrie. 

On her maiden passage, Ben Cruachan, under Bully 
Martin, left the Clyde on 5th October, 1873, passed 
the Tuskar light on 7th October, crossed the equator 
26 days out in 24° 80' W., crossed the meridian of the 
Cape on 21st November in 46° 30' S., and running her 
easting down averaged 300 miles a day from the Crozets 
to the Leeuwin between 27th November and 6th Dec- 
ember. On 18th December she arrived in Hobson's 
Bay, 67 days out from the Tuskar. This passage, 
however, was cast in the shade by Ben Voirlich's run 
in 1874-5 on her second voyage, and on her maiden 
passage Ben Voirlich only took two days longer from 
the Tuskar than her sister ship. 

Ben Voirlich, on her maiden passage, left Glasgow 
under Captain McPetrie, on 3rd January, 1874. But 
she was held up at Greenock by bad weather until the 
26th and did not pass the Tuskar until the 27th. From 



236 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

the Tuskar she had 15 days of head winds, crossing the 
equator on 19th February in 26° 30' W. The Cape 
meridian was passed on 15th March and the Otway on 
5th April. Her best work was between the 15th and 
27th March, when she averaged 12 J knots. She arrived 
in Hobson's Bay on 6th April, 69 days out from the 
Tuskar. 

On her second trip, Ben VoirUch left Gravesend on 
the 9th November, Plymouth on 11th November, but 
was held up in the mouth of the Channel over the 12th. 
She crossed the equator on 1st December in 31° 20' W. ; 
crossed the Cape meridian on 24th December, in 45° S., 
and ran down her easting on the parallel of 46° 30', 
her best 24-hour run being 352 miles. She arrived 
in Port Phillip on 14th January, 64 days out from 
Plymouth. 

From pilot to anchorage Captain McPetrie claimed 
to have broken Thermoplyae's record; and on Ther- 
mopylae arriving in Melbourne on 4th February, only 
64 days out from the I^izards, a fine wrangle started. 

It was a specially favourable season, and Ben Voirlich 
was very hard driven, indeed in the roaring forties her 
main deck was never free of water, and the midship 
house and half-deck were water-logged all the time. 
She possessed a very hard nut of a mate, a bald-headed 
man with a great red beard, who was a very fine seaman. 
But he had no mercy on the boys, his usual greeting 
to a delicate-looking first voyage apprentice being 
* * Have your people sent you to sea to escape funeral 
expenses or what ? ' ' 

The Ben Voirlich had a winch just aft of her midship 
house, to which the fore braces were taken in the follow- 
ing way. The fore brace had a wire pennant with a 
gin block on its end* A chain was shackled to the 



BEN VOIRLICH 



287 



ship's side, then lied through the gin block and down 
again through the bulwarks to the winch and so on to 
the other fore brace, thus making an endless chain. It 
had stoppers on it on each side to keep a little slack. 
In bracing the yard, it took in on one side and gave out 
the other, and only needed two men to work it. 

SPAR PLAN OF BEN CRUACHAN AND BEN VOIRLICH. 



Spars 


Fore 


Main 


Mizen 


Mast — deck to truck . . 


139 feet 


1431 feet 


115 feet 


Lower mast 




60 ,. 


64i „ 


50i ,, 


Doubling 




16 .. 


16 .. 


13^ .. 


Topmast 




54i „ 


54^ ,. 


43* ., 


Doubling 




12 „ 


lU ,. 


9 „ 


Topgallant mast 




30^ „ 


30i .. 


26 „ 


Royal mast 




21 ., 


21 .. 


18 „ 


Lower yard 




84 „ 


84 .. 


70| ., 


Lower topsail yard 




73 ,. 


73 „ 


59 „ 


Upper topsail yard 




70i ., 


70* .. 


57 „ 


Lower topgallant yard 




5S> .. 


58i ,. 


45 .. 


Upper topgallant yard 




56 „ 


56 „ 


43 ,. 


Royal yard 




43 .. 


44 „ 


35 „ 


Jibboom 70 ft. 


Spanker boom 51 ft. 


Spanker 


?aff 36 ft. 



Though she made many good passages, she never again 
approached the time of her second outward passage. 
On her homeward passage in 1878 she broached to 
when running heavy to the westward of the Horn and 
was nearly lost. This occurred on the 18th November. 
A very big sea was running,, and the helmsman, a 
Dutchman, let go the wheel from sheer fright. As 
the ship broached to a huge wave broke over her 
quarter. This avalanche of water smashed in the 
break of the poop, gutted the cabin, and took nine men 
overboard. For an hour the ship lay over on her beam 
ends dragging her lower yards in the water, entirely 
out of control. Two men who happened to be at work 



238 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

on the lee fore yardarm were actually washed off it. 
One of them was lost overboard, but the other caught 
the rail and lay there head downwards, being held 
from going further by the chain fore sheet. An appren- 
tice managed to get to him and grab hold, but the next 
moment a sea swept over them, and whilst the apprentice 
was washed inboard, the man was never seen again. 
The same apprentice happened to be washed up against 
the winch, to which he clung like a limpet; and then, 
as the old white-bearded sailmaker was hurled by him 
in the cross wash of the sea, caught the old man and 
held on to him or he would have gone overboard. 

The brave ship struggled gamely; three times she 
brought her spars to windward, and three times she 
was laid flat again. The whole of her topgallant rail 
and bulwarks were washed away, together with every- 
thing of a movable nature on the deck. At last after a 
whole hour of desperate fighting, they managed to get 
the wheel up, and the clipper slowly righted herself as 
she fell off and brought the wind astern. 

Captain Ovenstone, who was in command at the time, 
spoke several ships in the x\tlantic and told them of his 
near shave. One of these reported it to a homeward- 
bound steamer, the consequence was that when the Ben 
Voirlich arrived those on board found their parents and 
relations in a great state of mind, not knowing who had 
been amongst the nine victims and who was safe. 

In 1885 the Ben Voirlich had almost as bad an 
experience to the southward of the Cape of Good Hope, 
when bound out to Melbourne under Captain Bully 
Martin. At 8 a.m. on the 6th August a terrific squall 
from W.N. W. struck the vessel and in a moment the fore- 
sail had blown to rags. By 10 a.m. it was blowing a 
hurricane, the ship scudding before it under fore and 




COLLINGWOOD. 




SAMUEL PLIMSOLL.* 



Photo lent by F. G. Layton. 



[To face page 2.^9. 



BEN VOIRLICH 239 

main lower topsails. An hour later a tremendous sea 
pooped her, and washed away the two helmsmen and 
Captain Martin who was conning them. Captain Martin 
and the quartermaster, a man named Scott, were swept 
up against a hen coop, which was lashed up to the bucket 
rail at the break of the poop, with such force as to smash 
it to pieces ; but it saved them from going over the side. 
As soon as they could pick themselves up, they made a 
dash for the wheel, which they found smashed in two and 
only hung together by its brass rim. Scott held the wheel 
whilst Captain Martin cleared away the broken part, 
which was jamming it, and they were just in time to save 
the ship from broaching to. The lee wheel, a foreigner, 
had meanwhile got into the mizen. rigging and lashed 
himself with the turned up gear. The seas now broke 
over the ship in a continuous cascade, and the Ben 
Voirlich could only be worked from the poop and foe 's 'le- 
head, to which the crew succeeded in leading the braces. 
All that night a wild sea looted the ship. Both the 
standard and steering compasses were swept overboard. 
The port lifeboat on the skids was smashed to pulp ; the 
topgallant bulwarks were stripped off her, and the poop 
ladders, harness casks, hen coops, handspikes and such 
like were all carried off by the tremendous sea. 

As soon as daylight broke, they managed to lash up 
and repair the wheel; then the second class passengers 
were moved from the midship house to the poop, as 
Captain Martin feared that the house would be burst in 
and gutted by the seas raging aboard over the broken 
bulwarks. But again the Be7i Voirlich safely weathered 
it out, and four weeks later dropped anchor in Hobson's 
Bay. 

The two famous Bens were kept in the Melbourne 
trade until 1885. Then in 1886 both ships went to 



240 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Sydney, the Ben Cruachan in 90 days and the Ben Voirlich 
in 94 days. But in 1887 they bade a final good-bye to the 
wool trade and went into the San Francisco wheat trade. 
Ben Voirlich left London on 22nd May and arrived 
Frisco on 28rd September — 124 days out. This was a 
very good run for the westward passage round the Horn. 

The Ben Cruachan was not so fortunate. She left the 
Tyne on 4th May and did not arrive in San Francisco 
Bay until 15th October — 164 days out. 

The Ben Cruachan ended her days under the Mexican 
flag and was known as the Carmela, and I believe she 
still does duty as a hulk in a Mexican port. 

The Ben Voirlich was sold to the Germans in 1891 
and converted into a barque. In 1903 the Germans 
sold her to the Italians, who renamed her the Cognati, 
During the winter of 1908 she was badly damaged by 
collision with an iceberg off the Horn, but managed to 
make port. She can now be seen at Leith, where she 
is serving as a domicile for the crews of surrendered 
German ships. Here she lies a mast- less hulk, covered 
with deck-houses, but fitted below with electric light 
and every comfort. 

These two sister ships were very evenly matched. 
Though not as fast as some of the iron wool clippers, 
they made up for it by hard driving and generally 
managed to get home in well under three figures. 

** Samuel PlimsoU." 

Famous as had been the Aberdeen White Star 
wooden clippers, the iron ships launched for Thompson 
in the seventies may almost be said to have eclipsed 
them. And not least of these magnificent vessels, 
either in speed, appearance or sea qualities was their 
third iron ship, the Samuel PlimsoU, named after a 



SAMUEL PLIMSOLL 241 

man who at that time was receiving broadside after 
broadside of abuse in shipping circles, yet who to-day 
is counted one of the greatest, if not the greatest, 
benefactors of our merchant seamen. 

The Samuel Plimsoll was launched in September, 
1873, and christened by Mrs. Boaden, wife of Captain 
Boaden, in the presence of Samuel Plimsoll, Esq. 
Captain Boaden left the famous Star of Peace in order 
to take Samuel Plimsoll from the stocks. She came 
out as a double topgallant yarder and was specially 
fitted for emigrants. 

On her maiden passage she took out 180 emigrants. 
Leaving Plymouth on 19th November, she had poor 
winds and very light trades to the line, which was crossed 
on 11th December in 29° W. The meridian of Greenwich 
was crossed on 2nd January, 1874, and the Cape meridian 
four days later. Her best run in the 24 hours was 340 
miles, and between the Leeuwin and the S.W. Cape, 
Tasmania, she was only four days. On the 17th 
January she overhauled and passed the Alexander Duthie, 
and finally arrived in Port Jackson on 1st February. 

Whilst loading for London she was thus advertised 
in the Sydney Morning Herald : — 

ABERDEEN CLIPPER LINE— For London. 
THE SPLENDID NEW CLIPPER SHIP. 
SAMUEL PLIMSOLL. 
100 Al, 1444 tons. reg. R. Boaden, late of the Star of Peace, 
commander. 

This magnificent vessel has just completed the passage from Ply 
mouth in 73 days, and having a large portion of her cargo stowed on 
board will leave about 7th April. 

As this vessel has lofty 'tween decks and large side ports, she offers 
a good opportunity for intermediate passengers, of which only a limited 
number will be taken. Carries an experienced surgeon. 

For freight or passage apply to Captain Boaden or to Montefiore, 
Joseph & Co. Wool received at Talbots. 



242 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

From the very first Samuel Plimsoll proved herself 
a very fast ship. Her best performance was 68 days 
to Sydney from 190 miles W.S.W. of the Bishops, when 
commanded by Captain Henderson, who had been 
chief officer on her first two voyages, and left her to 
command the Wave of Life, Moravian and Thermojjylae, 
eventually returning to her as commander in 1884. 

Samuel PlimsolVs logs show that she revelled in 
the roaring forties. In 1876, when in 41° S., she ran 
2502 miles in eight days, her daily runs being 348, 330, 
301, 342, 320, 264, 340, 257. In 1883 she averaged 
278 miles in 13 consecutive days, her best being 337. 
In 1895, when homeward bound, she ran from 49° 50' S. , 
179° 05' W., to 55° 25' S., 79°59' W. in 15 days, 29th 
November to 12th December, her daily distances being — 
244, 286, 263, 259, 261, 273, 302, 290, 257, 253, 274, 
264, 314, 235, 245— equalling 4020 miles. 

The Samuel Plimsoll was in the Sydney trade until 
1887 ; she was then transferred to the Melbourne trade. 
On her first passage to Melbourne, she left London 2nd 
March, 1888, dropped her pilot off the Start on 5tli 
March, but was only 270 miles from the Start on the 
15th owing to westerly gales ; she crossed the equator 
5th April, in 26° W., and averaged 218 miles a day from 
Trinidad to 130° E., her best run being 310 miles. She 
arrived in Hobson's Bay on 22nd May, 79 days from the 
Start. During the whole of her career under the Aber- 
deen house-flag, her only mishap was the carrying away 
of a fore topmast: and this freedom from casualties 
was the case with most of Thompson's green clippers. 

Writing about the increase of sailing ship insurance 
rates in 1897, Messrs. Thompson remarked: — 

Five of our sailing vessels now in the A.ustralian trade, viz., Arislides, 
Miltiades, Patriarch, Salamis and Samuel Phmsoll are over 20 years of 



SAMUEL PLIMSOLL 248 

age, but they are in as good condition, by careful looking after and up- 
keep, as they were upon their first voyage; whilst they have a record 
that no general average homewards has ever been made on under- 
writers by any one of them since they were launched 21 to 28 years ago. 
(A remark which applies with equal truth to all our sailing vessels now 
running.) According to a reliable statement made up by the largest 
shippers and consignees of wool carried by our sailing ships during the 
last two years, we find that the claims thereon made on the underwriters, 
from inception of risk (which in many cases began in distant parts of 
the Colonies before shipment) were £149 Is. Id., which, on 24,807 bales 
carried, valued at £12 per bale, came only to 1/- per cent. These figures 
clearly show that age does not affect the efficient carrying of cargo by 
vessels, built, as ours have been, of superior strength and scantlings, 
carefully kept up ^nd treated in every way with a view to the safe 
carrying of valuable cargoes to and from Australia. 

On the occasion of her only mishap a tropical squall 
carried away the bobstay, and down came the fore top- 
mast and main topgallant mast. It happened that a 
Yankee clipper was in company; this vessel beat up 
to the dismantled Samuel Plimsoll and sent a boat off 
with the message that she was bound to Australia and 
would gladly tranship the passengers and carry them 
on to their destination. This offer, Captain Simpson, 
who then commanded the Samuel Plimsoll, declined 
with thanks, so the American went on her way. 

It was all day on until the Aberdeen flyer had fresh 
masts aloft, and then she settled down to make up the 
lost time. And nobly she did so, one week's work in 
the roaring forties totalling 2300 miles, and she even- 
tually arrived at Melbourne, 82 days out. Some days 
later the Yankee arrived and her captain at once went 
to the Samuel PlimsolVs agents and reported speaking 
her dismasted in the Atlantic, at the same time he 
commented on her captain's foolhardiness in not 
transhipping his passengers. 

* * Is it Captain Simpson you are referring to ? " asked 
the agent. 



244 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

** Yes,*' returned the Yankee. 

*'Wall,*' said the agent, imitating the American's 
leisurely drawl, ''I guess you had better speaii to him 
yourself. He*s in the next room." 

In 1899 the famous old ship eaught fire in the Thames 
and had to be scuttled. After being raised and repaired 
she was sold to Savill of Billiter St., who ran her until 
1902 when she was dismasted and so damaged on the 
passage out to Port Chalmers that they decided not to 
repair her. She was subsequently towed to Sydney 
from New Zealand at the end of a 120-fathom hawser, 
and later taken round to Western Australia where she 
was converted into a coal hulk. 

And here is a description of her as she lies at her 
moorings in Fremantle harbour : — 

From quay to midstream buoy, and from buoy to quay, she is 
plucked and hauled. Occasionally she feeds a hungry tramp with 
coal. Abashed and ashamed of her vile uncleanliness she returns to 
her midstream moorings where most of her time is spent in idleness and 
neglect. One looks in vain for the long tapering spars and the beautiful 
tracery of her rigging. Stunted, unsightly derricks have replaced them. 
The green-painted hull is now transformed into a dull red, a composition 
red that cries aloud, not of beauty, but of utihty. Regularly with each 
returning ebb and returning flood of the Swan, she swings to her moorings 
the composition smeared effigy of Samuel PUmsoll, alternately facing 
towards river and sea. Marine life has made of her plates a habitation 
and refuge; her bottom is foul with the dense green growth of years. 
Her costly fittings, solid brass belaying pins and highly burnished, 
brass-covered rails and spotless decks, where are they ? Coal-gritted 
baskets, whips and tackles are strewn along the decks: they all proclaim 
her squalid and servile calling. 

Amongst these old hulks, however, she is withal the most dignified 
looking, the graceful lines of her hull lending her an air of distinction at 
once apparent even to the layman. As coal hulking goes, she is perhaps 
the most fortunate of her class. Days pass — weeks — perhaps months, 
all spent in slothful idleness and neglect, whilst her more unfortunate 
sister hulks scarcely know a day but what they are not coal feeding some 
important steam-driven interloper. 



LOCH MA REE 



245 



•• Loch Maree '*— the Fastest of the Lochs. 

The Loch Maree was also launched in September, 
1873. She was an especially beautiful ship in every 
way and the fastest probably, of all the ** Lochs," 
Barclay, Curie were instructed to spare no expense in 
making her as perfect as an iron ship could be, and she 
certainly came up to her owners' expectations, both in 
her looks, her outfit as an up-to-date passenger clipper, 
her speed, and her behaviour as a sea boat. 

Underneath a poop of over 50 feet in length, she had 
her first class passenger accommodation arranged on the 
plan adopted in the P. & O. steamers. 

She crossed three skysail yards, had a full outfit of 
stunsails and other flying kites, and the following spar 
plan will give one an approximate idea of her sail area. 

SPAR PLAN OF LOCH MAREE. 



Spars 


Fore 


Main 


Mizen 


Mast — deck to truck . . 


148 fe 


et. 153 feet 


130 feet 


Lower mast 




63 . 


68 ., 


59i ., 


Doubling 




10 . 


16 „ 


13 . 




Topmast 




54 , 


54 , 


44^ , 




Doubling 




11 . 


11 .. 


9 . 




Topgallant mast 




34 . 


34 .. 


28 




Doubling 




. 


6 ., 


5 , 




Royal and skysail masts 




30 , 


30 „ 


25 . 




Lower yard 




84 . 


84 ., 


69 . 




Lower topsail yard 




71 , 


71 „ 


57 , 




Upper topsail yard 




68 , 


68 ., 


54i , 




Lower topgallant yard 




55 . 


55 „ 


43^ . 




Upper topgallant yard 




51 . 


51 .. 


40 , 




Royal yard 




41 . 


41 .. 


31i , 




Skysail yard 




30 , 


30 ,. 


24 , 




Jibboom 70 feet 


Spanker boom 50 fe 


et Spanker gafif 36 feet 



Loch Maree'' s start in life was an unfortunate one. On 
5th November, 1878, she sailed from the Clyde for 



246 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Melbourne under Captain MacCallum with a full cargo, 
11 saloon and 30 second cabin passengers, and the 
following is an account of her maiden voyage, which 
was given me by one of her apprentices : — 

On the tenth day out, we were bowhng along sharp up on the star- 
board tack, near the Island of Palma in the Canary group, when a squall 
struck her flat aback with such violence, that in a few moments her tall 
masts with their clothing of well-cut canvas lay a hopeless tangle over 
the side. Everything above the lower masts disappeared under the 
magic breath of the squall. When the wreckage was finally cleared 
away, the driving power was limited to a foresail, a crossjack and a 
lower mizen topsail. The mainyard had been snapped in the centre, 
one half lay on the rail and the other hung by the slings, rasping and 
tearing with every roll. But the crippled sailer, unlike the crippled 
steamer, can usually make a very creditable effort for safety. A course 
was set for Gibraltar. Improvised canvas, mostly of the fore and aft 
variety, was rigged up, and in 14 days the Rock was reached in safety, 
To show her wonderful sailing qualities, when two days from Gibraltar, 
we overhauled and easily passed a 600-ton barque under royals. 

Captain MacCallum watched the barque as she fell away astern, and 
remarked : "If I had only thought she could sail like this, I would have 
kept on for Australia." 

The Loch Maree arrived at Gibraltar on the last day in November, 
and after being refitted sailed from the Straits on 20th January, 1874, 
and ran out to Melbourne in 74 days, arriving there on the 4th April, 
160 days out from the Clyde. 

She sailed from Melbourne homeward bound on 14th June, ten 
days behind the Carlisle Castle of Green's Blackwall Line. On the 14th 
day out, a sail appeared ahead at 11 in the forenoon. We were at the 
time swinging along with topgallant stunsails set on fore and main and 
a three-cornered lower stunsail. 

Captain MacCallum, though Scotch, had sailed mostly in Yankee 
ships and was a veritable whale for " kites." 

" Take in that three-cornered stunsail and set a square one," he 
ordered, " I want to be alongside that fellow this afternoon." 

At 3 p.m. we were side by side with the Carlisle Castle. She flew no 
kites, her royal and skysail yards were down and the crossjack unbent, 
She was taking it easy and arrived in London three weeks after us. 

On that same passage Loch Mares put up a remarkably fine spin from 
abreast of Fayal to the Downs, which distance she covered in 4^ days. 
On the run we overhauled a fleet of 12 schooners bound from the Azores 
to England, all bunched together in a radius of 3 or 4 miles. With 
topgallant stunsails set and everything drawing to a spanking breeze on 



J 



LOCH MA REE 247 

the port quarter, we rushed through the centre of the group of fruiters, 
each one of whom was doing her best with topmast and lower stunsails 
set. 

I had often listened to the tales of old sailors, portraying in vivid 
language the fabulous speed of these little vessels, but alongside a smart 
1600 tonner, with a skipper who knew how to crack on, they cut but a 
sorry figure. The Loch Maree was doing at least 3 knots more than any of 
them, and in a very short time they were mere silhouettes on the skyline. 

Right up the Channel the kites were carried, and when morning broke 
off the Isle of Wight a sail was discerned ahead, which daylight proved 
to be a big barquentine rigged steamer under all sail. We had evidently 
crept up on her unobserved in the darkness, for when the discovery was 
made that a windjammer was showing her paces astern, volumes of 
black smoke belched in sooty clouds from her two funnels, as if entermg 
a protest against such a seeming indignity. But, in vain, she fell away 
in our wake as the fruit schooners had done a couple of days before. 

Loch Maree' s times, both out ajid home, from this 
date were generally amongst the half-dozen best of the 
year. Captain Grey, R.N.R., had her on her second 
voyage and then Captain Scott took her. 

In 1878, when homeward bound from Melbourne, 
the Lizard was sighted on the 68th day out, but the 
passage was spoilt by hard easterly winds in the 
Channel. 

In 1881, the Loch Maree made Port Phillip Heads on 
19th July, 70 days out from the Channel. On 29th 
October she left Geelong homeward bound. When a 
day out she was spoken by the three-masted schooner 
Gerfalcon off Kent's Group, and that was the last seen of 
her. It is significant that another big ship, the North 
American^ a transformed Anchor Line steamer, dis- 
appeared at the same time, also homeward bound from 
Port Phillip. 

The Tragedy of the ♦'Loch Ard." 

The ill-fated Loch Ard was the largest vessel 
owned by Aitken & Lilburn until Barclay, Curie built 



248 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

those two splendid four-posters, the Lochs Moidart and 
Torridon, 

Her maiden passage was one of the unluckiest on 
record. She lost her masts almost before she had 
cleared the land and put back to the Clyde to refit. She 
made a second start on 26th January, 1874, and again, 
whilst running her easting down, was badly dismasted, 
only the mizen lower mast and 15 feet of the mainmast 
being left standing. After rolling in the trough of the 
sea for four days of the greatest peril her crew managed 
to get her under a jury rig, and she took 49 days to cover 
the 4500 miles to Hobson's Bay, where she arrived on 
24th May, 118 days from the date of her second start. 

As I have already related, the year 1874 was a dis- 
astrous one for dismastings; and when the Loch Ard 
struggled into Melbourne, she found the John Kerr and 
Cambridgeshire, both on their maiden voyages, lying 
there in a similar plight to her own. Besides these 
ships and the Loch Maree, the following were also dis- 
masted this year on their maiden passages: — Rydal 
Hall, Norvalf Chrysomene and British Admiral. The 
latter was refitted in England, only to be wrecked on 
her second attempt, on King's Island, on 23rd May, 
1874, with great loss of life. 

The Loch Ard on her unfortunate maiden passage had 
been commanded by Captain Robertson, who, also, 
was skipper of the Loch Earn when she collided with 
the Ville du Havre. On her third voyage the Loch Ard 
was taken by Captain Gibb, who was a stranger to 
Australian waters. He married just before sailing. 
The Loch Ard left Gravesend on 2nd March, 1878. She 
was spoken by the John Kerr, Captain W. Scobie, on 
9th April. But between 5 and 6 on the morning of 1st 
June, the day after the John Kerr had arrived in Hob- 



LOCH ARD ^ 249 

son's Bay, the Loch Ard went ashore 27 miles from the 
Otway, at Curdles' Inlet, between Port Campbell and 
Moonlight Head. 

Out of 52 souls on board, only two were saved, an 
apprentice and a passenger. About these two a romance 
has been woven, which would have done for Clark 
Russell. Tom Pearce, the apprentice, displayed such 
gallantry and pluck in saving the passenger. Miss 
Carmichael, that he became the hero of the hour in 
Australia. He was one of those people, however, who 
have the name ** Jonah " attached to them by sailors, 
for a year later he suffered shipwreck again, in the Loch 
Sunart, which was piled up on the Skulmartin Rock, 
11th January, 1879. The story goes that Tom Pearce 
was washed ashore and carried up in a senseless condition 
to the nearest house. This happened to be the home of 
Miss Carmichael, who fittingly nursed him backto health, 
with the proper story book finish that he married her. 
Whether this is true or not, Pearce lived to be a Royal 
Mail S.P. captain. He finally retired from the sea in 
1908 and died on 15th December of that year. 

I now commence a series of tables of outward passages 
to Australia. These have been compiled with as 
much care as possible, but slips will creep into 
lists of this kind, and I should be very grateful 
if any reader who is able to correct a date from an 
original abstract or private journal would write to me, 
so that the mistake may be set right in future editions. 
I have not always filled in a date, as where there was 
any want of proof I have preferred to leave it blank. 

Besides the regular traders, I have tried to include 
every ship making the outward passage under 80 days, 
thus we find some of Smith's celebrated ** Cities " and 
a numbher '^f the frigate-built Blackwallers figuring in 



250 



THEt:OLONIAL CLIPPERS 



the lists. As regards outsiders, I have had to omit 
several ships for want of sufficient data, but I think 
my lists are complete as far as the regular traders are 
concerned . 

PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO SYDNEY IN 1873. 



Ship 



Departure 



Crossed 
Equator 



Crossed 

Cape 

Meridiau 



Passed 
S.W.Cape 
Tasmania 



Arrived 



Days 
Out 



Samuel PlimsoU 
Cutty Sark - 
Patriarch 



Plymouth Nov. 10 
Channel Dec. 16 
Channel A pi. 12 



Dec. II 
Jan. 4*74 
May 



Jan. 7 '74 
Jan. 30*74 
June 8 



Jan. 28 '74 
Feb. 25 '74 
June 24 
(passed Ot. 



Feb. 1 '74 
Mar. 4 '74 
June 30 



PASSAGES UNDER 80 


DAYS TO MELBOURNE 


IN 1873. 




Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

Cape 

Meridian 


Passed 

Cape 

Otway 


Arrived 


Days 
Out 


Miltxadeh 


Start 


May 12 


June fl 


June 24 




July 15 


64 


Thoman Stephens - 


Ushant 


Hept. 3 


Sept 24 


Oct. 16 


Nov. 7 


Nov. 8 


66 


fign Cruachan 


Tuskar 


Oct. 7 


Nov. 2 


Nov. 21 




Dec. 13 


67 


Loch Tay 


Tuskar 


Sept. fl 


Sept. 28 


Oct. 22 


Nov. 13 


Nov. 14 


69 


Thermopylae - 


Start 


Dec. 


Dec. 30 


Jan.20'74 


Feb.15'74 


Feb.l6'74 


72 


Mermerus • 


Lizard 


July fl 


July 30 


Aug. 19 




Sept. 18 


72 


Sam Mendel • 


Tuskar 


July 20 


July 2fl 






Oct. fl 


72 


The Tweed • 


Lizard 


Sept. 


Sept. 30 


Oct. 25 




Nov. 18 


73 


Marpena >■ 


St. Albans Oct. 17 


Oct 17 






Dec. 29 


73 


Theophane 


Tuskar 


Aug 30 


Sept. 28 


Oct. 17 


Nov. 


Nov. 12 


74 


Jerusalem 


Lizard 


June 29 


July 24 


Aug. 22 


Sept. 14 


Sept. 14 


77 


Strathdon 


Start 


Aug. 23 


Sept. 21 




Nov. 7 


Nov. 9 


78 


City of Hankow 


Portland 


Dec. 8 


Jan. 1 -74 


Jan. 21*74 




Feb. 19 '74 


78 


Loch Lomond 


Tuskar 


June 26 


July 23 


Aug. 18 


&ept. 12 


Sept. 13 


79 



The homeward runs I have had to put in the Appendix 
for want of space, as this part has run to far greater 
length than I had contemplated at first. 

The races to catch the wool sales will thus be found 
in Appendix F, under the headingof** The Wool Fleet." 

Notes on Passages to Australia in 1873. 

The fine passage of Miltiades and the maiden 
passages of Samuel PlimsoU and Ben Cruachan I have 
already described. The 66 days of Thomas Stephens 
was a very fine performance. She left Gravesend on 



AUSTRALIAN PASSAGES IN 1873 251 

30th August, with a very heavy general cargo, which 
put her down in the water like a sand barge. She 
crossed the equator in 26° 55' W. and was then forced 
over on to the South American coast near Pernambuco 
by very unfavourable S.E. trades. The meridian of 
Greenwich was crossed on 12th October in 44° 33' S. 
Her best week's work running down the easting was 
2055 miles, and she would have equalled the run of 
Miltiades but for 48 hours of calm in the neighbourhood 
of the Otway . She arrived in Melbourne after an absence 
of only seven months, including nine weeks in London. 

Loch Tay, which left Glasgow on 4th September under 
Captain Scott, also lost a day becalmed off the Otway. 
She crossed the equator in 29° W. and the meridian of 
Greenwich on 18th October in 39° S. Running the 
easting down she averaged 276 miles t ^ay for 19 days, 
her best day's work being 336 miles. 

Of the others nothing special calls for notice. Ther- 
mopylae left Gravesend on 2nd December, and had a 
light weather passage all the way, though she went as 
far as 47° S. in search of wind. Cutty Sark also was 
handicapped by very light winds. She ran her easting 
down in 40° S. with light winds and calms from the S.E, 
trades to Port Jackson. 

This was the Tweed^s iirst visit to Melbourne. This 
magnificent clipper was probably the tallest ship ever 
seen in Hobson's Bay. And wherever Captain Stuart 
took her she compelled admiration both for her majestic 
appearance and wonderful sailing performances. 

Devitt & Moore's Crack Passenger Ship 
** Rodney." 

Messrs. Devitt & Moore always considered the 
Rodney to be the fastest of their iron ships. She was 



252 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

also one of the finest specimens of the passenger sailing 
ship in its last phase. 

The following account from an Australian paper of 
November, 1874, will give a good idea of the Rodney's 
accommodation for passengers. It is also interesting as 
showing what was considered luxury in the seventies 
and comparing it with the present day : — 

To render voyaging as easy and pleasant as possible has long engaged 
the attention of shipowners, but it is only of late years that it has 
become a special study to make the accommodations for oversea pas- 
sengers not merely comfortable but absolutely luxurious. 

The change in this respect since the time when only a certain amount 
of cabin space was provided is something akin to a transformation. 
The worry and bother of attending to the fitting up, as well as the extra 
expenditure of time and money, are now avoided, and with very little 
need for previous provision or preparation, ,the intending voyager 
nowadays can step on board ship and find his cabin carpeted and cur- 
tamed and fitted up with almost all the accessories and appointments of 
a bedroom in a hotel. 

An inspection of the Rodney will convince the most fastidious that 
the entire question of passenger comfort has been thought out fully and 
amply. The Rodney is an iron clipper of beautiful model and is what 
is termed a 1600-ton ship. She has been constructed specially with a 
view to the conveyance of passengers, and there are few sailing ships 
coming to the colony which have such a spacious saloon. It measures 
80 feet in length and has berthing accommodation for 60 people. No 
cost has been spared in the decoration and embellishments, and yet 
these have not been promoted at the expense of solid and material 
comfort. 

The cabins are 10 feet square, and a number of the sleeping berths 
can be drawn out so as to accommodate two people. For each cabin 
there is a fixed lavatory, supplied with fresh water from a patent tap, 
and by the removal of a small plug in the centre of the basin, the water 
runs away right into the sea, so that all slopping is avoided. The 
lavatory is fixed on top of a cupboard, which answers all the purposes 
of a little chiffoniere, being fitted up for the reception of bottles, glasses, 
brushes, etc. 

There is also a chest of drawers in each cabin — a very great con- 
venience — in which may be kept clothes, books, linen and many " un- 
considered trifles," which generally go knocking about in ships' cabins 
at sea. 

The windows in the cabins are large, admitting plenty of light and 



THE RODNEY 253 

air, and the passengers have easy control over them. The ventilation, 
in fact, is all that could be desired. Good-sized looking-glasses and 
handy little racks for water-bottles, tumblers, combs, brushes, etc., also 
abound, and in other little matters the comfort of the passengers has 
been well cared for. 

The cabins are also so arranged that two or more or even the whole 
of them on one side of the ship afford communication to each other 
without going out into the saloon, and where families arc together this 
is very advantageous. 

The bathroom occupies the space of one of the largest cabins, and 
hot as well as cold baths are attainable. 

The saloon is lighted by two large skylights, one of them being 
21 feet in length. They are emblazoned with very pretty views of 
Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Capetown, these being the principal 
ports to which Messrs. Devitt & Moore's vessels trade. There is also 
a piano in the saloon, by which the tedium of a voyage may be enlivened, 
and the tables are so constructed that they can be easily unshipped and 
the saloon cleared for dancing. 

For gentlemen there is a capital smoking-room at the top of the 
companion leading from the saloon to the deck. 

The accommodation in the 'tween decks for second cabin and steerage 
passengers is everything that could be desired, and there is quite an 
elaborate system adopted for ventilation. 

Cooking can be done in the galley for 500 people, and there is a 
steam condenser, which can distil 500 gallons of water daily. 

The passengers of all classes who came out in this ship on her maiden 
voyage here expressed themselves wonderfully well pleased with the 
ship and her commander, Captain A. Louttit, who has had great 
experience in the passenger trade. 

The Rodney^s best passage was to Sydney in 1887, 
when under Captain Harwood Barrett, with Captain 
Corner of training ship fame as his mate. On this 
occasion she ran from the Lizards to Sydney in 67 days, 
and 68 days from pilot to Sydney. Her best passage 
home was 77 days from Sydney to London. Her 
best run to Melbourne was 71 days in 1882, and to 
Adelaide 74 days in 1880. 

The Rodney was sold in 1897 to the French and 
renamed Gipsy. On her previous voyage she had en- 
countered terrible weather both out and home, and was 



254 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

even robbed of her figure-head by the raging sea; it was 
probably on account of the damage sustained on this 
voyage that Devitt & Moore sold her. 

On the 7th December, 1901, the Rodney was wrecked 
on the Cornish coast, when homeward bound from 
Iquique with nitrate. The ship became a total loss 
but the crew were saved. 

Nicol's ** Romanoff." 

Romanoff was Alexander Nicol's finest iron 
clipper until the Cimba came out. Nicol's ships 
were always good lookers, painted Aberdeen green 
with white masts and yards and scraped jibboom and 
topmasts, they fully upheld the Aberdeen reputation. 
Romanoff was a fast ship, but was overmasted with 
double topgallant yards and skysails, and after a few 
years she was severely cut down. She was a very 
regular Melbourne trader. She ended her days under 
the Norwegian flag. 

Duthie 's * * Cairnbulg. ' ' 

The Cairnbulg was another Aberdeen ship, but 
she was in the Sydney trade. She was of about the 
same speed as the Romanoff, a fine, fast, wholesome ship 
without any very special records to her credit. 

She came to a most unusual end. After being sold to 
the Russians and renamed Hellas, she was sold by them 
to the Danes and called Alexandra. On the 26th 
November, 1907, she sailed from Newcastle, N.S.W., 
for Panama, coal laden. In April she was taken off 
the overdue list and posted as missing, being uninsurable 
at 90 guineas. The following June, one of her boats 
in charge of the mate, was picked up off the South 
American Coast. The mate theu told the following 




THESSALU^.' 




THESSALUS.' 



PJioto by Hall & Co., Sydney. 



[To face page 254. 



THESSALUS 265 

extraordinary story: — On 8th May the ship was aban- 
doned owing to her provisions running out and for no 
other reason — as in every other way, both in hull and 
gear, she was perfectl}^ seaworthy. The position of the 
Cairnhulg when abandoned was given as 500 miles 
off the South American Coast. A search expedition 
was at once sent out after her, but in vain. Sometime 
afterwards she was found ashore on the rocks at Iguana 
Cove, Albemarle Island, with her back broken. Her 
insurances, hull, freight and cargo amounted to £30,000, 
and she was abandoned in calm weather through lack 
of provisions. This story is not to the credit of either 
her captain or her owners. 

The Speedy **Thessalus." 

Thessalus, Carmichael's largest three-master, 
was one of the finest and fastest sailing ships ever seen in 
Australasian waters. Though not a regular wool clipper 
like the Mermerus, she was well known both in Sydney 
and Melbourne. But she was also as well known in 
Calcutta and San Francisco, and wherever she went she 
always made fine passages. 
Here are a few of her best : — 

AUSTRALIAN PASSAGES. 

1878 Start to Melbourne . . . . 67 days. 

1882 London to Sydney 79 ., 

1884 Downs to Sydney 77 „ 

1887 London to Sydney 79 „ 

1893 Cardiff to Sydney (t/irt Capetown) 78 ., 

1894 London to Sydney {via Capetown) 78 ,, 
1896 Sydney to London 75 „ 

CALCUTTA PASSAGES. 

1876 Calcutta to London . . . . 90 days 

1878 Calcutta to Dundee .. .. 98 „ 

1879 Penarth Roads to Calcutta .. 98 . 



256 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



FRISCO AND W.C.N.A. PASSAGES. 



1883 Frisco to Lizard 

1885 Frisco to Hull 

1888 Portland, Ore., to Queenstown 

1889 Frisco to Queenstown 

1 890 Swansea to Frisco . . 
1890 Frisco to Lizard 
1892 Frisco to Queenstown 

CROSS PASSAGES. 

1878 Melbourne to Calcutta 

1880 Calcutta to Melbourne 

1882 Sydney to Frisco . . 

1884 Sydney to San Pedro 

1884 Frisco to Newcastle, N.S.W. 

1886 Newcastle, N.S.W., to Frisco 



105 days. 

125 .. 

98 „ 

104 „ 

113 „ 

109 „ 

101 .. 



48 days 

49 .. 
55 .. 
66 .. 
45 ,. 

50 .. 



On her third voyage she encountered the cyclone of 
81st October, 1876, near the Sandheads. Captain 
E. C. Bennett, foreseeing the approach of the cyclone, 
stood over to the east side of the Bay of Bengal, and 
considered himself lucky to escape with the loss of his 
topgallant masts. 

Lashed on top of his main hatch, he had a large kennel 
containing a pack of foxhounds for the Calcutta Jackal 
Club. When the cyclone began, the hounds were let out 
of the kennel, to give them a chance to save themselves ; 
and shortly afterwards the kennel was washed clean over 
the lee rail without touching it. The hounds had mean- 
while disappeared and everyone thought that they must 
have gone overboard; but when the weather cleared 
they all came out, safe and sound, from under the lower 
foc's'le bunks, where they had taken refuge. 

This cyclone wrought havoc amongst the Calcutta 
shipping, and cost the underwriters over £100,000. 
Thessalus was lucky to get off with a repair bill of £380. 

The Thessalus was lucky with live freight. On her 
seventh voyage she took horses from Melbourne to 



THESSALUS 257 

Calcutta and landed them all alive and in prime con- 
dition. Shortly afterwards the Udston arrived with 
only four horses alive. She had had bad weather in the 
Bay of Bengal, the horses had broken loose and in their 
fright kicked each other to death. On this voyage, 
Thessalus returned to Melbourne with wheat bags, 
wool packs and camels. The camels also arrived in 
good condition. At Melbourne she loaded wool for 
London at a penny per pound. 

Her best wool passage was in 1896, when she left 
Sydney on the 17th October and was only 75 days to the 
Start, where she signalled on 81st December. She had 
left Melbourne in company with Cimha and Argonaut. 
Argonaut made a long passage, but Thessalus and 
Cimha were twice in company, concerning which 
Captain Holmes of Cimha wrote ; — 

I left Sydney in company with Thessalus and Argonaut. I was 
twice in company with Thessalus on 3rd October in 54° S., 152° W., to 
6th October 54° S.. 143° W., and on 25th November in 36° S., 34° W. I 
came up on him in light winds, but when he got the breeze he just 
romped away from me as if 1 was at anchor. Thessalus was a wonder- 
fully fast ship. I think the German five-master Potosi is the only one 
I have seen to touch her. 

This is high praise, for Captain Holmes had a great 
knowledge of ships, especially in the Australian trade, 
and he had a very fast ship in Cimbay which on this 
occasion reported at noon at the Lizard when Thessalus 
was reporting at Start Point. 

After a long and successful career Thessalus was sold 
to the Swedes in 1905, when she was still classed 100 Al , 

Notes on Passages to Australia in 1874. 

1874 was Ben Voirlich's great year. It will be 
noticed, however, that on her record passage she had 
Lochs Ness and Maree on her heels the whole way. 



258 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



Both Lochs had just changed their commanders, 
Captain Meiklejohn going to the Loch Ness and Captain 
Charles Grey succeeding Captain McCaUum in Loch 
Maree. Loch Ness chased Ben Voirlich very closely all 
the way to the Australian Coast, her best 24 -hour run 
being 321 miles. But Loch Maree dropped back in the 
roaring forties through no fault of her own. On 13th 
and 14th December she experienced a tremendous gale 
from east working round to S.W. with high confused 
sea, during which her patent steering gear was com- 
pletely smashed up; and this prevented her from 
taking full advantage of the westerlies, as Captain Grey 
decided it would not be safe to go further than 42° S. 

PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO SYDNEY IN 1874. 



Sblp 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

.Cape 

Meridtaa 


Passed 
S.W.Cape 
Tasmania 


Arrived 

Port 
Jackson 


Days 
Out 


Cuitfi Hark - 
Mermerus 
Hallowe'en - 
Patriarch - 

Jerusalem 


Start I^ov. 21 
Start Apl, 14 
Start April 
Wight June 8 

Plymouth Apl. 5 


Dec. 11 

May 8 
Apl. SO 
July 2 

Apl. 29 


Jan. 1 75 

May 29 
May 22 
July 28 

May 21 


Jan. 26 '75 
June 24 
June 17 
Aug. 19 
(Otway) 
June 14 
(Otway) 


Feb. 2 '76 
June 27 
June 22 
Aug. 24 

June 22 


73 

74 

74 
77 

78 



PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO MELBOURNE 


IN 1874. 








r!m44pH 


Crossed 


Passed 


Arrived 


Dav 


9hip 


Departure 


Equator 


Cape 


Cape 


Hobson's 


Out 






Meridian 


(Otway) 


Bay 




Thermopylae - 


Lizard Dec. 2 


Dec. 25 


Jan. 14 '75 




Feb. 4 '76 


64 


Ben Voirlich - - 


Plymouth Nov. 11 


Dec. 1 


Dec. 24 




Jan. 14 '76 


64 


Loch Nets - ' 


Tuskar Nov. 11 


Dec. 1 




Jan. 16 '75 


Jan. 18 '75 


68 


Ben Voirlich - • 


Tuskar Jan. 27 


Feb. 19 


Mar. 15 


Apl. 5 


Apl. 6 


69 


Thomas Stephens • 


Lizard Nov. 22 


Dec. 12 




Jan.29'75 


Jan. 31 '75 


70 


Ben Cruachan 


Cape Clear Sept. 4 


Sept. 29 


Oct. 20 


Nov. 13 


Nov. 14 


71 


Romanoff 


Lizard Nov. 5 








Jan. 16 '75 


72 


Theophane - 


Tuskar Aug. 16 


Sept. 12 


Oct. 3 




Oct. 30 


75 


City of Hankow • 


Channel Nov. 19 








Feb. 2 '76 


75 


Loch Lomond 


Tuskar Nov. 30 








Feb. 14 '75 


76 


LochMaret - • 


Channel Nov. fl 


Dec. 1 


Dec. 25 


Jan. 22*75 


Jan. 23 '76 


78 



LOCH GARRY 259 

Cutty Sark and Thomas Stephens also had a great 
race, the famous tea clipper making the best passage of 
the year to Sydney. 

Both ships were off the Lizards on 22nd November, and 
experienced very baffling winds to the equator, which 
Cutty Sark crossed in 26° W. and Thomas Stephens in 29° 
W. a day later. Cutty Sark was 65 days from the Lizards 
to S.W. Cape, Tasmania, whilst Thomas Stephens was 68 
days to the Otway, where she was becalmed for 14 hours. 

Thermopylae f with a 64 -day passage from the Lizards, 
her best run being 348 miles, arrived just in time to 
defend herself, for Captain McPetrie was declaring to 
all and sundry that Ben Voirlich had broken Thermo- 
pylae's record, by making a better run from port to port. 

The **Loch Garry.*' 

Many experts considered the Loch Garry to be the 
finest sailing ship in the world at the date of her launch. 
She certainly was an example of the well-known Glasgow 
type at its best. 

A new feature was adopted in the placing of her masts. 
Her mainmast was stepped right amidships, with the 
fore and mizen masts at equal distances from it. 

Loch Garry, her sister ship Loch Vennachar, Green's 
Carlisle Castle, Nicol's Romanoff and the American ship 
Manuel Laguna were rigged in a manner peculiar to 
themselves. They had short topgallant masts with 
fidded royal and skysail masts, on which they crossed 
royals and skysails above double topgallant yards. 
When in port their upper topsail and upper topgallant 
yards would be half mast-headed, and with the seven 
yards on each mast, all squared to perfection, they 
presented a magnificent appearance. Loch Garry's first 
commander was Captain Andrew Black, a very fine 
seaman indeed. He commanded her from 1875 to 1882. 



260 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

He was succeeded by Captain John Erskine, who was 
followed by Captain Home. 

With regard to her merits, the veteran Captain Home, 
who commanded her for close on 26 years, wrote to me :— - 

The Loch Garry is a front rank ship and always will be so. She is a 
ship that has got no vices and when properly loaded is as gentle as a 
lamb. It is quite a pleasure to sail such a ship, which might be des- 
cribed as a 1500-ton yacht. She is not a ship of excessive speed, but 
with a moderately fre»h breeze will maintain a speed of 10 or 11 knots 
without much exertion. 

Loch Garry's best run under Captain Home was on 
26th December, 1892, when running her easting down 
in 40° S. With a N.W. wind and smooth sea she covered 
334 miles. It is very possible that she exceeded this in 
her early days when she carried a stronger crew. Siie was 
also a good light weather ship. In 1900 she went from 
the South Tropic to the North Tropic in 14 days 2 hours. 

The following passages of recent date will show that 
Captain Home kept the Loch Garry moving in spite of 
the lack of a good crew of sailormen: — 

1892 Tuskar to Cape Otway 71 dy 1903 Port Philip Heads to 

1894 Downs to Melbourne 77 ,, Lizard .. . . 74 dv 

1895 Lizard to Melbourne 77 ,, 1904 Melbourne to Dover 77 ., 

1896 Melbourne to PrawlePt. 80 ,, 1905 Tuskar to Cape Borda 73 ,. 

1900 Melbourne to Prawle Pt. 85 ,, 1905 Equator to Leuwin 36 „ 

1901 Adelaide to C. Otway 48 hr. (Average 240 knots) 

The following account of Captain Home's care of his 
boats and system for provisioning them should be a 
lesson for younger masters. It is taken from the 
Melbourne Herald: — 

A feature of Loch Garry's equipment, in which Captain Home takes 
a justifiable pride, is the system for provisioning the hfeboats. should it 
ever be necessary to abandon the vessel. In two minutes the appren- 
tices can place enough provisions in the boats to last all hands 14 days. 
The lifeboats are on the after skids and the falls are always kept rove. 
In each boat are two 15-gallon breakers, which are kept full of fresh 
water, charged about once a month. Then in a strong wooden box, 
fitted with beckets, is stowed a good supply of biscuits, in protected tins, 
whilst in another box a number of tins of meat are packed together with 



LOCH GARRY 261 

the necessary opening knife. A third box contains miscellaneous 
articles, such as medical comforts, clothing, tobacco, a hatchet, knives 
and a compass. The three boxes are always kept handy in the lazarette, 
the provisions they contain being changed each voyage, so that the 
biscuits and meat are always fresh. One man can easily lift either 
of the boxes and the equipment is completed by the lifeboats' sails and 
all necessary gear being kept in a canvas bag close by. The system is 
simplicity itself, and Captain Home says that he would like to see some 
such plan made compulsory by the B.O.T.dn all ships. 

The career of Captain Home, who was the veteran 
skipper of the Loch Line, is worth recording. He was 
born in 1834, apprenticed to the sea at 15 years of age, 
and only retired in 1911, after 62 years at sea and 47 
years in command without experiencing shipwreck, fire 
or collision. The motto of his life, which he always 
emblazoned on the cabin bulkhead, was: — **Never 
underrate the strength of the enemy." Like many 
another old seaman, he was not pleased with the changes 
brought about by steam and cut -throat competition. 

Just as Captain Home's apprenticeship finished the 
Crimean war broke out, and, volunteering for active 
service, he was appointed to the three-decker H.M.S. 
Royal Albert i the largest ship afloat. He was rated 
as A.B., but soon promoted to be second captain of the 
maintop. Sir George Tryon was a junior lieutenant on 
this ship. The Royal Albert was in the engagement 
against the Kinburn Forts on the north shore of the 
Black Sea. At the close of the war Captain Home 
received the Crimean and Turkish medals and was paid 
off on the Victory. He then returned to the Merchant 
Service and served in 1859 as second mate of the tea 
clipper Falcon under Captain Maxton. Subsequently 
he was attached to Lord Elgin's embassy and placed in 
charge of a lorcha by Lindsay & Co., of Shanghai. As 
a member of Lord Elgin's staff, he was present at the 
taking of the Taku Forts and was on the house -boat 



262 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

<vhich was towed to Tientsin by one of the gunboats; 
«jnd he remained there until the treaty was signed. 

After this he was 13^ years in the employ of John 
Allan & Sons. In 1877 he joined the Loch Line and 
took command of the Loch Sloy, leaving her to take 
charge of the Loch Garry in 1885. 

The Loch Garry only had two severe mishaps in her 
long life. In August, 1880, when running under top- 
gallant sails off the Crozets in a heavy beam sea, the 
weather forebrace carried away, the fore toj^mast went 
above the eyes of the rigging and took main topgallant 
mast with it — and Loch Garry was a month getting to 
Melbourne under jury rig. She was rigged in Geelong 
with Kauri pine topmasts and long topgallant masts, as 
shewn in the illustration. In August, 1889, she was dis- 
masted in a furious gale to the south 'ard of the Cape. To 
save the ship Captain Home was obliged to jettison some 
100 tons of cargo in the shape of gunpowder, hardware, 
whisky, bottled beer, paper, etc. The main and mizen 
masts carried away close to the deck, but Captain Home 
succeeded in sailing his vessel 2600 miles to Mauritius, 
under foresail and fore lower topsail . Here the Loch Garry 
was delayed some months whilst new spars were sent out 
from England, and she eventually reached Melbourne on 
14th February, 1890, eight months out from Glasgow. 
After 36 years of good service, she was sold in March, 
1911, to the Italians for the scrap iron price of £1800. 

**Loch Vennachar." 

One of the finest and fastest of the Lochs, as well 
as one of the most unfortunate, was the Loch Vennachar, 
launched from Thomson's yard in August, 1875. 

She was usually one of the first wool clippers to get 
away from Melbourne, and for many years, sailing in 




LOCH VENNACHAR. 




"LOCH VENNACHAR.' 



Photo lent by F. G. Layton. 



[To face page 262. 



LOCH VENNACHAR 263 

October, she made very regular passages home, her aver- 
age under Captain Bennett being 86 days for 12 passages. 

Her first misfortune was in 1892, when she was dis- 
masted during a cyclone in the Southern Indian Ocean. 

The following is an account of the disaster, given in 
the Melbourne Argus : — 

The Loch Vennachar left Glasgow bound for Melbourne on 6th April, 
1892, with a crew of 33 all told and 12 passengers, four of whom were 
ladies. All went well with the ship until she reached lat. 39" 55' S., 
long. 27° 21' E,, when at 8 o'clock on the evening of 3rd June the baro- 
meter began to fall ominously and sail was promptly shortened. Dark- 
ness lifted soon after 5 o'clock in the morning and the break of day 
showed the terrific head seas that swept down upon the vessel, lashed by 
the north-east gale. (At this time both watches were aloft fighting to 
make the foresail fast.) Captain Bennett, who was on the poop, saw 
the danger of his crew and at once resolved to sacrifice the sail. • He 
sang out to the mate to send the men aft and the hands, who had been 
lying out on the pitching foreyard, gained the deck in safety and reached 
the poop in time. As they did so, two enormous waves bore down upon 
the ship, which rode slowly over the first, and sank to an interminable 
depth in the trough at the other side. Whilst in this position the second 
wave came on towering halfway up the foremast, and broke on board, 
filling the lower topsail 60 feet above the deck, as it came. 

Hundreds of tons of water swept over the ship in a solid mass from 
stem to stern, thundering inboard on the port side of the foc's'le and 
racing away over the main deck and over the poop, where most of the 
crew were standing. Every man on the poop was thrown down, and 
when they regained their feet they perceived that the foremast and 
mainmast were over the side, and the mizen topmast above their heads 
had disappeared. Not a man on board actually saw the spars go or 
even heard the crash of the breaking rigging so violent was the shock and 
so fierce the howling of the hurricane. The cook was washed out of his 
galley and swept overboard, the galley being completely gutted of 
everything it contained. 

For nine days after her dismasting, Loch Vennachar 
lay unmanageable, rolling in the trough of the sea, 
whilst the gale still raged. At last with immense 
difficulty a jury mast was rigged forward and a sail set 
on the stump of the mizen mast; in this trim Captain 
Bennett managed to get his lame duck into Port Louis, 
Mauritius, after five weeks under jury rig. The ship 



264 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

lay in Mauritius for five months whilst new masts and 
spars were being sent out to her from England. On the 
arrival of the masts, Captain Bennett and his crew 
showed their smartness by completely rerigging her in 
10 days, the cost of the refit coming to £9071 . 

On 18th November Loch Vennachar at last proceeded 
on her voyage, and after a light weather passage arrived 
in Port Phillip on 22nd December 260 days out from the 
Clyde. As soon as her anchor was on the ground, her 
crew assembled at the break of the poop and gave three 
ringing cheers for Captain Bennett and his officers, who 
had brought them safely through such a trying time. 
For saving his ship under such difficulties. Captain 
Bennett was awarded Lloyd's Medal, the Victoria Cro^s 
of the Mercantile Marine. 

In November, 1901, when anchored off Thameshaven 
outward bound to Melbourne with general cargo, Loch 
Vennachar was run down by the steamer Cato. The 
steamship struck her on the starboard bow, and the 
Loch liner went down in 40 feet of water. All on board, 
however, were saved, including a parrot and a cat, the 
only cat to escape out of seven on the ship. 

The Loch Vennachar lay at the bottom of the Thames 
for a month and was then raised. After repairs and 
alterations to the value of about £17,000 were made on 
her, she was pronounced by experts to be as good as the 
day she was launched ; and she once more resumed her 
place in the Australian trade. 

About September, 1905, when bound from Glasgow to 
Adelaide, she came on the overdue list. On 6th 
September she was spoken ** all well " by thess. Yon- 
gala, 160 miles west of Neptune Island. But as the 
days passed and she did not arrive, grave anxiety began 
to be felt. On 29th September, the ketch Annie Witt 



1 



SALAMIS 



265 



arrived at Adelaide, and her captain reported picking 
up a reel of blue printing paper 18 miles N.W. of 
Kangaroo Island. This paper was identified as part of 
Loch Vennachar^s cargo. A search was made on 
Kangaroo Island and wreckage was discovered which 
made the disaster only too sure. It was concluded that 
she had run on the Young Rocks in trying to make the 
Backstairs Passage. Captain llawkins, late of the 
Loch Ness, was in command, having taken her over from 
Captain Bennett the year before. 

As if the fatal curse of Jonah had been transmitted 
from father to son, T. R. Pearce, a son of the twice 
wrecked Tom Pearce, was one of the apprentices lost 
in her. 

•'Salamis*' — an Iron ** Thermopylae." 

Salamis, one of the most beautiful little ships ever 
launched and without doubt the fastest of all Thomp- 
son's iron ships, was really an enlarged Thermopylae in 
iron, as she was built from Bernard Waymouth's lines 
with a few minor alterations and improvements. The 
following comparison of their measurements shows that 
Salamis was roughly 100 tons larger and 10 feet longer 
than Thermopylae : — 



Measurements 
of 


Salamis 
Iron Ship 


Thermopylae 
Composite Ship 


Registered tonnage net 
Registered tonnage gross 

' „ „ under deck 
I-ength 

Breadth 

Depth 

Depth moulded . . 


1079 tons. 
1130 „ 
1021 ,. 
221.6 feet. 
36 „ 
21.7 .. 
23.7 „ 


948 tons. 
991 ,. 
927 .. 
212 feet. 
36 ., 
20.9 „ 
23.2 „ 



In Salamis, Thompson's were determined to have an 
out and out racer, and she was not fitted for passengers. 



266 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



her raised quarterdeck being only 48 feet long as against 
Thermopylae's 61 feet. She liad a tremendous sail 
plan and of course spread a full suit of stunsails and 
other flying kites. 

The following spar measurements show that she set 
even more canvas than Thermopylae, her mainyard being 
a foot longer, and the other yards in proportion : — 

SPAR PLAN OF SALAMIS. 



Mainmast — deck to truck 


1 50 fee 


fc. 


Main lower mast 


66 „ 


i 


Main topmast 


1 52 ,. 


1 


Main topgallant mast 


i 34 „ 


1 


Main royal mast 


23 „ 


1 


Main masthead 


•2 .. 


1 

1 


Main lower doublings . . 


1 15 .. 




Main topmast doublings 


i 12 „ 




Mainyard 


1 81 ., 




Main lower topsail yard 


72 .. 


! 


Main upper topsail yard 


! 64 ,. 


i 


Main lower topgallant yard . . 


57 ., 


i 


Main upper topgallant yard . . 


49 .. 


i 


Mam royal yard 


i 37 .. 


I 


Jibboom 


j 66 ,. 


1 



Messrs. Thompson, when they gave Hood the order for 
Salamis, intended her for the same round as Ther- 
mopylae — out to Melbourne with general cargo, then 
across to China and home again with tea. But by 1875 
the steamers had got a firm hold on the tea trade, and the 
clippers were either being driven away into other trades 
or had to content themselves witli loading at a cut rate 
in the N.E. monsoon; and practically only Cutty Sark 
and Thermopylae were still given a chance to load the new 
teas . This was not a bright outlook for a newcomer with 
her reputation all to make, and the only time Salamis 
loaded a tea cargo home was on her second voyage when 
she came home from Hong Kong in 110 days. In 1878 
she made another attempt to get a tea cargo home, but 




c 

TD 
>. 

m 










^^t^ «^' 



SALAMIS 267 

freights were specially bad this year, and she was with- 
drawn from the berth at Shanghai, and finally came 
home with wool from Port Phillip. 

As a wool clipper she set up a wonderful record; her 
average for 13 consecutive passages to Melbourne being 
75 days pilot to pilot, and for her outward passages from 
1875 to 1895 her average was 77 days. Homeward with 
wool, like all iron ships, she occasionally got hung 
up and topped the 100 days, nevertheless here she also 
had the best average for an iron ship, of 87 days for 18 
consecutive wool passages from Melbourne to London. 
Her best run from London to the equator was made in 
18 J days. Twice she ran from the equator to the Cape 
meridian in 21 days, and twice she ran her easting down 
from the Cape meridian to Cape Otway in 22| days, and 
no less than four times in 23 days. Captain Phillip left 
the Harlaw to take the Salamis, and his name is 
associated with her during the whole of her life under the 
British flag. 

On her maiden passage Salamis left London on 6th 
July, took her departure from the Start on the 10th, then 
had very buffling winds to the equator, which she 
crossed on 2nd August in 25° W. ; the S.E. trades were 
very poor and she had to make a tack off the Abrolhos 
Rocks. The Cape meridian was crossed on 24th August 
in 44° S. Running her easting down, the wind was very 
changeable, being mostly from the southward, and 
without any steady breezes her best run was only 304 
Knots. She passed the Otway on 16th September and 
entered Port Phillip Heads the same evening, 68 days 
from Start Point. 

On her second voyage she had a very protracted start, 
losing three anchors and chains in the Downs and also a 
man overboard during a very severe gale. She had to 



268 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

slip her third anchor and get underweigh in a hurry to 
avoid dragging ashore. After this she had to go into 
Plymouth to get new anchors and chains. She finally 
left Plymouth on 24th March, 1876, the ** dead horse " 
being actually up the day she left Plymouth. She took 
her departure from the Lizard on 25th March, crossed the 
line on 18th April, and had light winds to the meridian 
of the Cape, which she crossed on 14th May in 43° S. 

In 69° E. she encountered bad weather, and shipped a 
heavy sea whilst running under a fore topsail. This sea 
broke over the quarter, smashed the wheel and broke in 
the cabin skylight, and she had to be hove to for 14 hours 
whilst repairs were made. The main upper topsail had 
also blown away and a new one had to be bent. 

She eventually made Cape Otway at 10.30 p.m. on 
7th June, entering the Heads early morning of the 8th, 
75 days from the Lizards, in crossing to China, she 
went from Sydney to Shanghai in 32 days. Failing to 
get a tea cargo in Shanghai, she ran down to Hong Kong 
through the Formosa Channel with a strong N.E. 
monsoon in two days and some odd hours, but, of course, 
she was nearly new and in ballast. 

In 1878 she again tried for a tea cargo, crossing from 
Sydney in 43 days : after a very tempestuous passage of 
83 days from London to Sydney, during which she con- 
tinually had to be hove to, mdeed, Captain Phillip 
declared that he had never met with such heavy gales 
during 30 years' experience, even so she was only 79 
da^'^s from the Channel to Cape Otway. 

She found tea freights slumping very badly at 
Shanghai, and was finally placed on the berth for 
general cargo only at 30s. per 50 cubic feet. S alarms 
left Shanghai on 26th November in company with 
Thermopylae, which was the only sailing ship to get a 



SALAMIS 269 

tea cargo for London. The two ships made the Straits 
of Sunda on 15th December, but were compelled to 
anchor off Sumatra owing to the strong N.E. current. 
Here they found a fleet of 37 sail all vainly trying to get 
past Thwart -the -way Island. 

Of this fleet the first to get through was Thermopylae 
after several ineffectual attempts, but she was closely 
followed by her iron sister ship; clearing Java Head on 
29th December after a delay of 14 days, the two sisters 
squared away for the S.E. trades, and left the fleet of 
37 ships to wait patiently until the N.E. current 
slackened. 

Salamis CBiVv'iedi the trades to 32° S., and then made 
some fine running to the Australian Coast, her best day's 
work being 336 miles. On 26th January, 1879, she 
arrived off Port Phillip Heads and anchored off Queens- 
cliff to await orders. She was sent up to Sydney and 
loaded coal alongside the Cutty Sark, On 18th March 
Cutty Sark sailed for Shanghai with 1150 tons of coal, 
Salamis followed on the 20th with 1200 tons of coal. 
Unfortunately I have no details of the race across, 
except that Salamis made the run in 37 days. Both 
ships failed to get a tea cargo for the London market, 
and Cutty Sark went off to Manila, whilst Salamis went 
to Foochow, and took a tea cargo from there to Mel- 
bourne, which she reached in time to load wool home, 
after a very light weather passage of 64 days. After 
this unsatisfactory voyage Salamis was kept steadily in 
the Melbourne trade, with the exception of one passage 
to Sydney. 

When the Aberdeen White Star sold their sailing 
ships, Salamis went to the Norwegians, who stripped 
the yards off her mizen mast and turned her into a 
barque. After several weary years of threadbare old 



270 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

age, the beautiful little clipper was finally wrecked on 
Maiden Island in the South Pacific on 20th May, 1905. 

The Colonial Barque **Woollahra." 

The pretty little barque, Woollahra^ owned by 
Cowlislaw Bros., of Sydney, had a very fair turn of 
speed, and on more than '^ne occasion showed up well 
against some of the crack ships in the trade. In her 
later years she used to run from Newcastle, N.S.W., to 
Frisco with coal . She came to her end on Tongue Point, 
near Cape Terawhite, New Zealand, whilst bound in 
ballast from Wellington to Kaipara, to load Kauri 
lumber for Australia. She was wrecked about half a 
mile from the homestead of a sheep station, the only 
habitation on the coast for miles. The captain and an 
ordinary seaman were drowned, the rest of her comple- 
ment getting safely ashore. She went to pieces very 
quickly and there was not even an odd spar or deck 
fitting left a few months afterwards. 

'•Cassiope" and **Parthenope." 

Cassiope and Parthenope were actually sister ships 
though by different builders. They were both fine fast 
clippers of the best Liverpool type. Cassiope, however, 
had a short life, being lost with all hands in 1885, when 
bound to London with Heap's Rangoon rice, under the 
well-known Captain Rivers. Parthenope was sold in her 
old age to the Italians and rechristened Pelogrino O, 
On the 31st July, 1907, she sailed with coals from New- 
castle, N.S.W. , for Antofagasta and never arrived. 

** Trafalgar." 

D. Rose & Co.'s Trafalgar was a very regular 
Sydney trader. She went to the Norwegians and was still 
afloat, owned in Christiania, when the war broke out. 



%''^''« 



PASSAGES IN 1875 271 

PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO SYDNEY IN 1875. 



Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

Cape 

Meridian 


Passed 
S.W.Cape 
Tasmania 


Arrived 


Days 

Out 


Cutty Sark - 
Samuel PlimaoU - 


Lizard Nov. 29 
Falmouth Aug. 8 


Dec. 21 
Sept. 4 


Jan. 13 '76 
Sept. 28 


Feb. 4 '76 
Oct. 19 
(Otway) 


Feb. 12 '76 
Oct. 22 


n 

75 



PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO MELBOURNE IN 1875. 










Crossed 


Passed 




Days 


Ship 


Departure 


Equator 


Cape 
Meridian 


Cape 
Otway 


Arrived 


Out 


Thermopylae - 


Lizard Dec. 3 


Dec. 24 


Jan. 14 '76 


Feb. 7 '76 


Feb. 9 '76 


68 


Salamis 


Start July 10 


Aug. 2 


Aug. 24 


Sept. 16 


Sept. 16 


68 


Mertnerus 


Tuskar July 27 


Aug. 15 




Oct. 1 


Oct. 1 


68 


Loch Garry - 


Tiiskar Nov. 8 


Dec. 5 


Dec. 29 




Jan. 20 '76 


73 


City of Corinth ■ 


Start Sept. 4 


Sept. 27 


Oct. 21 


Nov. 16 


Nov. 16 


73 


Loch Maree - 


Sciiiy Aug. 8 


Sept. 5 


Sept, 26 




Oct. 21 


74 


Romanoff 


Lizard Aug. 10 


Sept. 5 




Oct. 22 


Oct. 23 


74 


Loch Vcnnachar - 


Inisfcrahull Sept. 6 


Oct. 10 


Oct 28 


Nov. 18 


Nov. 19 


74 


Wasdale 


Tuskar Aug. 7 


Sept. 4 


Sept. 26 




Oct. 20 


74 


Moravian 


Lizard May 26 


June 22 






Aug. 9 


75 


City of Agra • 


Start May 31 


June 24 






Aug. 15 


76 


Ben Cruachan 


Tuskar June 7 


July I 


July 29 




Aug. 23 


77 


Parthenope • 


Tuskar June 9 


June 29 






Aug. 25 


77 


Glengarry 


Tuskar Feb. 26 


Mar. 22 






May 14 


77 


Old Kensington 


Channel Feb. 3 






Apt. 21 


A pi. 22 


78 


Loch Katrine - 


Holyhead May 7 








July 25 


79 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1875. 

In no year were so many magnificent iron clippers 
launched as in 1875. and of the ships which made the 
passage to Melbourne in under 80 days no less than five, 
namely, Salamis, Loch Garry, Loch Vcnnachar, Par- 
thenope and Old Kensington, were on their maiden 
passages. Loch Garry's best run in the 24 hours was 
333 miles, and Loch Vcnnachar did a week's work of 
2065 miles, viz., 285, 290, 320, 320, 312, 268 and 270. 
Samuel Plimsoll, with 360 emigrants on board, left 
Plymouth on 6th August, at 11. 15 p.m.; on the same day 
she ran into and sank the Italian barque Enrica, though 



272 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

without damage to herself. She saved the Italian's 
crew and put into Falmouth to land them. 

Captain Richards left the Thomas Stephens in order to 
tune up Parthenope. He made the latter travel, but as 
he returned to the Thomas Stephens in 1876 he evidently 
preferred his old clipper. 

Thermopylae still maintained her wonderful reputa- 
tion; on this trip she averaged 270 miles a day from 23° 
W. to 100° E. 

The Old Kensington was a very fine ship with a good 
turn of speed, and she usually loaded home from Calcutta 
or San Francisco. 

The Wasdale must not be confused with the later 
Wasdale, which was not launched until 1881. This one 
must have been a very fast ship, for on this passage she 
made five 24 -hour runs over 300, her best being 332 
miles. 

Many well-known heelers were just over the 80 days ; 
for instance, Miltiades was 81 days from the Start, 
Thessalus 83 from the Lizards, Theophane 83 from 
the Tuskar, Cassiope 81 from the Tuskar, Marpesia 83 
from the Tuskar, Thyatira 80 from the Start, all to 
Melbourne, whilst Patriarch was 82 days from Torbay 
to Sydney. 

Two writers to the Nautical Magazine, both of whom 
were serving on the Cutty Sark during her 1875-6 
voyage, claim that she was 50 miles south of Melbourne 
on her 54th day out from the Channel, and that owing to 
strong head winds she was compelled to go round 
Australia. 

As will be seen, she was 67 days from the Lizard to 
the S.W. Cape, Tasmania, and I fear that a mistake of 
ten days has been made. Captain Watson also stated 
in a personal letter to me that she ran 2163 miles in six 



SIR WALTER RALEIGH 278 

days. I have 14 years of her abstract logs, and from 
what her logs tell me I consider that she was quite 
capable of accomplishing such a run with a strong 
steady breeze, but it is very rarely that you get such a 
breeze for six days on end even in the roaring forties. 
She left London on 20th November but collided with the 
Somersetshire off Gravesend, and lost her main topgallant 
mast, besides other damage, so that she had to put back 
to refit. 
**Sir Walter Raleigh." 

The Sir Walter Raleigh, commanded by Captain 
W. Purvis, was a very well-known and regular wool 
clipper of the type of Romanoff, I do not think she 
was quite in the first flight, but she was never very far 
behind, and in 1880 she shared with Ben Voirlich the 
distinction of making the best outward run of the year. 
The following extracts are from Patriarch^ s log, when 
homeward bound in 1878, 79 days out from Sydriey. 

Feb. 8.— 18' 41' N., long. 38" 65' W.— Spoke the Sir Walter Raleigh, 
Melbourne to London, 77 days out. 

Feb. 9. — Sir Walter Raleigh still in company. 
Feb. 10.— 5»V Walter Raleigh ahead. 
Feb. 11. — 5»> Walter Raleigh dead to windward. 
Feb. 12 to 16. — Sir Walter Raleigh still in company. 

In the end Patriarch got home a day ahead. Sir 
Walter Raleigh making the best passage by a day. Sir 
Walter Raleigh was probably faster in light and moderate 
winds than in strong, as I can find no very big runs to 
her credit. 

On the 10th November, 1888, she left Sydney for 
London, wool-laden, and was wrecked near Boulogue 
on 29th January, 1889, when only 80 days out and 
almost in sight of home. Five of her crew were 
drowned. It was a tragic end to what promised to 
be the best wool passage of her career. 



274 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

**Loch Fyne*' and **Loch Long." 

These two 1200 -ton sister ships from Thomson's 
yard, though fine wholesome ships, were not considered 
quite as fast as the earlier ** Lochs," though each of 
them put up a 75 -day passage to Melbourne, Loch Fyne 
on her second voyage in 1877-8, and the Loch Long in 
1884. 

The Loch Fyne left Lyttelton, N.Z., on 4th May, 
1883, under Captain T. H. Martin, with 15,000 bags of 
wheat bound for the Channel for orders and never 
arrived. 

In January, 1903, Loch Long arrived in Hobson's 
Bay from Glasgow, commanded by Captain Strachan. 
From Melbourne she was sent to New Caledonia to load 
nickel ore. She sailed on 29th April, but failed to 
arrive. Portions of wreckage, however, were washed 
up on the Chatham Islands, which made it only too 
certain that she had struck on the rocks and gone down 
with all hands. 

"Aristides "— The Aberdeen White Star 
Flagship. 

In March, 1876, Messrs. Hood launched the 
Deautiful passenger clipper Aristides, the largest of all 
Thompson's sailing ships. Captain R. Kemball of 
Thermopylae fame, the commodore of the Aberdeen 
White Star fleet, was given command of her, and she 
became the firm's flagship. 

On her maiden voyage she sailed from London on 6th 
July, and arrived in Port Phillip on 18th September — 
74 days out (69 days from the land). Leaving Mel- 
bourne on 28th November, she arrived in the Thames 
on 17th February, 81 days out, beating two such well- 
known clippers as Loch Maree and Collingivood, which 




ARISTIDES.' 



Photo by Hall & Co., Sydney. 



[To face page 27 i. 



ARISTIDES 2T5 

had sailed on 27th November, by 18 days. The Aber- 
deen White Star ships invariably made fine maiden 
voyages. Their captains always left port with the firm 
intention of breaking the record, and they had every 
help from their owners, the ships being most carefully 
loaded with their Plimsoll marks well out of water. 
Crews also were picked men, and gear, of course, every- 
thing of the best. 

Aristides was kept on the Melbourne run until 1889, 
when she went out to Sydney in 85 days. From this 
date she was kept in the Sydney trade. She usually had 
a full passenger list and being perfectly run like all the 
Aberdeen ships she was a favourite both in Sydney and 
Melbourne. Captain Kemball retired in 1887, and 
Captain Spalding had her until the early nineties, then 
Captain Allan took her over; her last commander was 
Captain Poppy, who was lost in her. 

Her best 24 -hour run that I have record of was 820 
miles. Her passages, both outward and homeward, 
were very regular, from 78 to 88 days as a rule, but she 
never beat the times of her maiden voyage. 

When the Aberdeen White Star sold their sailing 
ships, they refused to part with the Aristides y and she 
remained under their flag till the end. On 28th May, 
1903, she sailed from Caleta Buena with nitrate of soda 
for San Francisco and was posted as missing. H.M. 
ships Amphion and Shearwater made a search amongst 
the islands on her route for the missing ship, but no 
trace of her was ever found , 

** Smyrna." 

The Smyrna, which was built on fuller lines than 
most of Thompson's ships, came to a tragic end, being 
run into by the steamer Moto on 28th April, 1888, during 



276 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

a thick fog off the Isle of Wight, when outward bound 
to Sydney, and sank with Captain Taylor and 11 of her 
crew. 

The *» Harbinger.*' 

The Harbinger was built to lower the colours of 
the wonderful Torrens in the Adelaide trade, being titted 
to carry a large number of passengers. Indeed she was 
the last sailing ship specially built and fitted for carrying 
passengers. In more ways than one she was a remark- 
able vessel, and differed in many interesting details 
from the stock type of Clyde-built iron clipper. 

In her rigging and sail plan, she had various fittings 
which were peculiar to herself. 

To begin with, she was the only iron ship which had 
the old-fashioned channels to spread the rigging : and in 
another way she went back many years by never bending 
a sail on her crossjack yard. Instead of this sail she 
spread a large hoisting spanker, and she always carried 
a main spencer or storm trysail, a sail very often seen on 
down east Cape Horners, who found it very useful when 
trying to make westing off Cape Stiff. 

The famous Cutty Sark was fitted with a spencer yard 
and sail at her launch, but I doubt if she ever used it; 
at anyrate. Captain Woodget told me he never used it, for 
the simple reason that he never hove the Cutty Sark to 
in ten voyages to Australia. I have several of HaV' 
binger^s abstract logs and I can find no instance of her 
using this sail either. 

Harbinger was a very lofty ship, measuring 210 feet 
from the water-line to her main truck, and, unlike the 
Hesperus, she always carried her skysail yards crossed. 
Her jibbooms were of unusual lengtli — I say jibbooms, 
for outside her ordinary jibboom she carvied a sliding 




HARBINGER. 




Photo lent oy t . u. Layton. 



" HARBINGER. 



[To fare page 276 



>•! '* •• ? A/*' .'^ 



a «• • « • 



HARBINGER 277 

gunter or flying jibboom. On these she set a whole 
fleet of jibs, and, as if they were not sufficient, she had 
clipbooks for a storm staysail on the fore stay. 

After her first voyage 600 superficial feet of canvas 
were added to her square -sail area, and even so she was 
not a bit over canvassed, as she was a very stiff ship 
and always stood up well to a breeze. 

That she did not make more remarkable passages 
must be put down to the fact that, like the Hesperus, 
she was never hard sailed; but she could do over 300 
miles in the 24 hours without much pressing, and 
running her easting down 340 knots in a 23j-hour day 
was about her best. Her best speed through the water, 
measured by the odometer and the common log, was 16 
knots. 

With regard to her sea qualities, Mr. Bullen, who 
served on her as second mate, speaks as follows : — * * She 
was to my mind one of the noblest specimens of modern 
shipbuilding that ever floated. For all her huge bulk 
she was as easj^ to handle as any 10-ton yacht — far easier 
than some — and in any kind of weather her docility was 
amazing. . . . She was so clean in the entrance 
that you never saw a foaming spread of broken water 
ahead, driven in front by the vast onset of the hull. 
She parted the waves before her pleasantly, as an arrow 
the air ; but it needed a tempest to show her * way ' in 
its perfection. In a grand and gracious fashion, she 
seemed to claim affinity with the waves, and they in 
their wildest tumult met her as if they knew and loved 
her. She was the only ship I ever knew or heard of 
that would 'stay' under storm staysails, reefed topsails 
and a reefed foresail in a gale of wind. In fact, I never 
saw anything that she would not do that a ship should 
do. She was so truly a child of the ocean that even a 



278 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

bungler could hardly mishandle her; she would work 
in spite of him. And lastly, she would steer when you 
could hardly detect an air out of the heavens, with a 
sea like a mirror, and the sails hanging apparently 
motionless. The men used to say that she would go a 
knot with only the quartermaster whistling at the wheel 
for a wind." 

It is doubtful if a ship ever sailed the seas with more 
beautiful deck fittings. They were all of the finest 
teak, fashioned as if by a cabinetmaker and lavishly 
carved. In her midship house, in addition to the galley, 
carpenter's shop, petty officer's quarters, donkey engine 
and condenser, she had accommodation for 30 
passengers. 

Like the Rodney, she was fitted up with all the latest 
comforts and conveniences — luxuries they were con- 
sidered in those robust days. On her forward deck 
against the midship house were lashed a splendid 
cowhouse, two teak wood pens to hold 30 sheep, and a 
number of hen coops which were crammed with poultry, 
ducks, and geese, the butcher being one of the most 
important members of her crew. 

Her foc's'le had three tiers of bunks, for she carried a 
large crew. In 1886 I find that she hauled out of the 
South West India Dock with 200 passengers and a crew 
of 51 all told. 

She did not stay very long in the Adelaide trade, but 
from the early eighties was a favourite passenger ship to 
Melbourne, her commander being Captain Daniel R. 
Bolt, a very experienced passenger ship commander, 
who had previously had the Darling Dozvns, Royal Dane, 
and Holmsdale, Under him without any undue hurry, 
she was generally between 80 and 85 days going out, and 
in the nineties coming home 



HARBINGER'S LOG 279 

Below will be found a typical abstract of her log 
when running the easting down, taken from her outward 
passage in 1884 : — 

August 31.— Lat. 38° 00' S., long. 1' 52' W. Dist. 242. Moderate 
steady S.W. wind, rain squalls. Two sail in company. 

September 1.— Lat. 38° 57' S., long. 2'' 47' E. Dist. 226. Strong, 
unsteady, squally S.W. to west wind, high sea, royals set. 

September 2.— Lat. 39° 07' S.. long. 7° 42' E. Dist. 230. Variable 
south wind, squally, heavy rollers from S.W. 

September 3.— Lat. 39° 40' S., long. 12° 49' E. Dist. 241. Westerly 
wind, fresh and squally, under topgallant sails, heavy rollers. 

September 4.— Lat. 40° 06' S., long. 19° 06' E. Dist. 288. Strong 
gale and high sea. 

Septembers.— Lat. 40° 24' S., long. 24° 50' E. Dist. 267. Moderate 
W. gale, high sea. 

September 6.— Lat. 40° 49' S„ long. 30° 44' E. Dist. 267. Gale 
moderating and falling to light S.S.E. wind. 

September 7.— Lat. 40° 08' S.. long. 35° 15' E. Dist. 213. South 
wind variable in force and direction. 

September 8.— Lat. 38° 30' S., long 36° 37' E. Dist. 1 16. Variable 
light E. and S.E wind. 

September 9.— Lat. 40° 25' S., long. 38° 36' E. Dist. 148. Moderate 
E. S.E. gale. Sea smooth. P.M., strong N.E. wind, reduced to topsails. 

September 10.— Lat. 42° 17' S., long 42° 18' E. Dist. 203. Strong 
gale and head sea. Main upper and three lower topsails. Later, wind 
dropping. 

September 11.— Lat. 42** 10' S.. long. 46° 41' E. Dist. 196. Light 
W. wind, variable airs increasing to strong N.W. gale at midnight. 

September 12.— Lat. 42° 28' S., long. 52° 13' E. Dist. 247. 6.30, 
wind shifted to west and fell light, then freshened, sea smooth. 

September 13.— Lat. 42° 22' S., long. 58° 06' E. Dist. 262. Moder- 
ate westerly gale and high sea, royals in. Midnight, light winds. 

September 14.— Lat. 42° 10' S., long. 63° 50' E. Dist. 253. In- 
creasing N.W. wind. 

September 15.— Lat. 41° 30' S., long. 70° 22' E Dist. 298. Fresh 
gale, cross sea from N.N.W., a sea down saloon companion ; overcast. 

September 16.— Lat. 41° 30' S., long. 77° 07' E. Dist. 305. Fresh 
W.N.W. wind and moderate sea. Bar. 29.70* to 29.60°. 

September 17.— Lat. 41° 15' S., long. 84° 19' E. Dist. 326. Strong 
gale and high sea. 7.30 a.m., wind shifted from N.W. to W.S.W. 
Bar., 30.20°. 

Sept. 18.— Lat. 40° 40' S., long. 90° 00' E. Dist. 259. Moderate 
gale W.S.W. to light W. wind, 8 knots. Bar., 30.10°. 



280 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

September 19.— Lat. 41° 00' S., long. 95° 01' E. Dist. 228. Moder- 
ate to light W. wind, skysails set. Bar., 29.60°. 

September 20.— Lat. 40° 30' S., long. 100° 44' E. Dist. 260. Moder- 
ate N.W. gale, thick weather, rain. 

September21.— Lat.40°04'S.,long. 106°05'E. Dist. 248. Moder- 
ate gale and high seas. 

September 22.— Lat. 39° 28' S., long. 111° 05' E. Dist. 230. 
Moderate S. wind, squally with rain falling to light airs. 

On this passage Harbinger was 81 days from the Lizard 
to Port Phillip Heads ; she had very light winds to the 
line, which she only crossed 31 days from the Lizard. 
It was, perhaps, a pity that she was not fitted with 
stunsails and given a chance to go, as there is no doubt 
that under such conditions she could have given the 
fastest ships in the trade a very good race. 

In 1885 she took her departure from the Start with 
the little Berean, and beat that little marvel out to the 
Colonies by six days, being 79 days from the Start to the 
Quarantine Station, Port Phillip. Harbinger^s best 
run on this occasion was 310 miles. 

In the year 1890 Harbinger was bought, along with the 
Hesperus, for Devitt & Moore's cadet -training scheme. 
She carried a full complement of cadets until 1897, when 
her boys were turned over to the Macquarie and she was 
sold to the Russians for £4800, and she was still in the 
Register in 1905. 

•'Argonaut.'^ 

Carmichael's Argonaut, like their Thessalus, was 
not a regular wool carrier, though often seen in Sydney 
and Melbourne ; for some years, however, in her latter 
days, she was a member of the wool fleet from Sydney. 
She had all the good looks of a Golden Fleece clipper ; 
and the following records speak for her sailing 
powers: — 




ARGONAUT 



281 



1879-80 



1881 
1881 



1882 

1882 

1883 

1883 

1885 

1894-5 

1895 

1895 



London to Caloutta, undocked 3.30 p.m. October 4 

Arrived Saugor Roads, Jan 4 90 days. 

against N.E. monsoon. 
Calcutta to Melbourne, Jan 10-February 25 . . . . 45 days. 
Melbourne to London, 7th April — off Lizard, 4.30 

p.m. June 27 81 

—docked June 30 84 

Dundee to Frisco, July 17-November 14 . . . . 120 
Frisco to Queenstown, January 6- April 20 . . . . 104 
Wifsta, Sweden, to Adelaide, July 11-October 8 . . 89 
Adelaide to Tegal, Java, November 15-December 13 28 

.. 78 
.. 82 
.. 83 
.. 77 



Liverpool to Sydney, June 14- August 31 
Sydney to London, October 14-January 4 . . 
Dungeness to Sydney. March 13-June 4 
Sydney to London, October 13-December 29 

Argonaut's best known commander was Captain 
Hunter, who was one of those who knew how to carry 
sail. On his wool passage home in 1896, however, he 
was very much out of luck, as the Argonaut was one of 
the very few ships that took over 100 days. 

Captain A. Cook was her first skipper, then Captain 
Bonner had her in the late eighties. 

Argonaut was still afloat in 1914. Under the name of 
Elvira, she flew the Portuguese flag and used the same 
home port, Lisbon, as the Cutty Sark and Thomas 
Stephens— ^SLud her round of ports was usually the same 
as that of Cutty Sark, namely — Rio Janeiro, New 
Orleans and Lisbon. In 1913, her name was again 
changed to Argo, The Portuguese, as in the case of the 
Cutty Sarky retained the yards on the mizen. 



PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO SYDNEY IN 


1876. 




Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

Cape 

Meridian 


Passed 
S.W.Cape 
Tasmania 


Arrived 


Days 
Out 


Patriarch 

Samuel PUmsoll • 
Cutty &ark • 


Channel June 23 

Plymouth June 2 
Channel Oct. 23 


July 14 

June 28 
Nov. 19 


Aug. 9 

July 19 
Dec. 11 


Aug. 30 
(Otway) 
Aug. 9 
Jan. 3 '77 


Sept. 2 

Aug. 19 
Jan. 10 '77 


71 

78 
79 



282 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



PASSAGES UNDER 80 DAYS TO MEBBOURNE IN 1876. 













Crossed 


Passed 






Ship 


Departure 




Crossed 


Cape 


Cape 


Arrived 


Day. 


i ,„ 








Equator 


Meridian 


(Otway) 




Out 


Mermerus 


Gravesend June 25 


July 17 


Aug. 6 




Aug. 30 


66 


Miltiades 


Lizard 


May 


12 


May SO 


June 25 




July 21 


70 


Aristides 


Start 


July 


10 


Aug. 4 


Aug. 26 


Sept. 17 


Sept. 18 


70 


Old Kensington 


Channel 


Aug. 


17 








Oct. 29 


78 


Loch Ness - 


ScUly 


July 


11 








Sept. 21 


74 


Macduff 


Channel 


May 


18 








July 31 


74 


Salamis 


Lizard 


Mar. 


25 


Apl. 18 


May 14 


June 7 


June 8 


76 


Theophane 


Tuskar 


Aug. 


12 


Sept. 11 






Oct. 26 


75 


Loch Maree - 


Start 


June 


19 


July 8 


Aug. 10 


Sept. 2 


Sept. 3 


76 1 


Cassiope 


Channel 


Aug. 


26 








Nov. 10 


76 1 


Parthenope 


Tuskar 


July 


27 








Oct. 12 


77 1 


Marpesia 


Tuskar 


Oct. 


21 








Jan. 6 "77 


77 


Loch Katrine - 


Start 


May 


26 


June 16 


July 12 


Aug. 9 


Aug. 10 


77 1 


Romanoff 


Lizard 


July 


23 


July 30 




Sept. 17 


Sept. 18 


77 i 


Thomas Stephens - 


Lizard 


Aug. 


7 


Sept. 4 






Oct. 24 


78 ' 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1876. 

The only new ship to make a name for herself this 
year was Aristides, but I do not think she was as fast as 
Thompson's earlier ships, and I much doubt if she were 
capable of the following week's run, made by Samuel 
Plimsoll whilst running her easting down this year in 
41° S., viz., 348, 330, 301, 342, 320, 264, and 340= 
total 2245 miles. 

Hardly any of the cracks are missing from the * * under 
80 day " list. The Tweed, with eight fine stallions on 
board, ran from the Start to King's Island in 77 days on 
her way to Sydney, but was then held up three more 
days by calms. 



♦* Brilliant " and ** Pericles." 

Duthie's Brilliant and Thompson's Pericles we 
built alongside of each other and launched on the sam 
tide; and both ships being in the Sydney trade there 
was naturally great rivalry between them. The two 
clippers proved to be very evenly matched and it is 






BRILLIANT AND PERICLES 283 

difficult to award the palm. Pericles usually took 
emigrants out, Brilliant being loaded deep with general 
cargo, and they both loaded wool home. The two 
captains, Davidson of the Brilliant and Largie of 
Pericles^ usually had a new hat on the result of each 
passage. Pericles with her light load line generally 
won the hat going out, but the Brilliant was always very 
hard to beat on the homeward run, and Captain David- 
son, more often than not, got his hat back again. 

On her maiden passage Brilliant went out to Sydney 
in 78 days without clewing up her main royal from the 
Bay of Biscay to Sydney Heads. Down in the roaring 
forties she made three consecutive runs of 340, 345 and 
338 miles by observation, a performance which I do not 
think any iron ship has ever beaten. 

Her best homeward passage was 79 days to the 
Channel in 1888, but her wool passages were so regular 
that she was rarely allowed more than 85 days to 
catch the sales. 

Brilliant was a specially handsome ship; painted 
black with a white under-body, and with a brass rail 
along the whole length of her topgallant bulwarks, she 
was always the acme of smartness, being known in 
Sydney as '* Duthie's yacht.*' 

Taking the average of 16 outward passages under 
Captain Davidson, we find Brilliant's record to be 
85 days, her rival Pericles had an average of 84 days for 
10 passages; this was considerably helped by a very 
fine run of 71 days in 1886. 

In 1888 Captain John Henderson took the Pericles for 
three voyages, leaving her to take the Samuel PlimsolL 
He took the Pericles across the Pacific to San Francisco 
and made three passages home from the Golden Gate with 
wheat, his first being the best, 110 days to Falmouth. 



284 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Thompson's sold Pericles to the Norwegians in 1904, 
whilst Brilliant was sold to the Italians in the following 
year. Brillianty I believe, was broken up in Genoa 
about 10 or 12 years ago, but Pericles, until recently 
at any rate, was still washing about the seas disguised 
in the usual way as a barque. 

** Loch Ryan." 

Loch Ryan was another 1200 -ton ship, a favourite 
size with Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn. Though she 
managed to make the run to Melbourne in 78 days on her 
maiden passage, she was not as sharp -ended as her 
predecessors and was more of a carrier, her passages 
home being more often over 100 days than under. 

She was more fortunate in her old age than most of her 
sisters, as she was bought by the Victorian Government 
and turned into a boys' training ship, her name being 
changed to John Murray. For many years, until well 
into the late war in fact, she lay in Hobson's Bay as 
spick and span as ever, occasionally making short 
cruises under sail for training purposes. 

About the middle of the war, like many another 
gallant old windjammer, she was fitted out and sent to 
sea in the face of the German submarines and was 
wrecked in the Pacific. 

•*Loch Etive," of Captain William Stuart and 
Joseph Conrad fame. 

The Loch Etive, launched in November, 1877, had 
the honour of being commanded by Captain Stuart of 
Peterhead, for long the well-known skipper of the 
famous Tweed, and the still greater honour of having Mr. 
Joseph Conrad as one of her officers. 

She also was a fuller ship and for some years Captain 




MERMERUS," in Victoria Dock, Melbourne, 1896. 




" BRILLIANT.";, . ^ : ^,^^ :% ^ ^ :; : - 

Photo lent by Captain C. W. Davidson. [To face page 284. 



LOCH ETIVE 286 

Stuart failed to get anything rem-arkable out of her, 
though he drove her unmercifully; but in 1892-3 she 
made two very good voyages. 

Leaving Glasgow on 15th October, 1892, she arrived 
at Melbourne on Xmas Day, 70 days out from the Tail 
of the Bank. Loading a wool cargo, she left Melbourne 
on 26th January, 1893, and arrived in the London River 
on 29th April, 93 days out. 

On her next voyage she left Glasgow at 8 p.m. on 23rd 
September and arrived at Adelaide 10 a.m., 12th 
December; towed to powder ground and discharged 20 
tons of gunpowder, and berthed at the wharf same 
afternoon; commenced discharging on 13th, discharged 
800 tons of cargo, took on board 300 tons lead spelter, 
towed down the river and anchored off the Semaphore on 
the 16th; left on the 17th, and arrived at Melbourne 
on the 19th. Here she discharged 750 tons, the 
remainder of her inward cargo, and loaded wool and 
sundries for Antwerp and Glasgow. 

Left Melbourne Heads on 18th January — detained a week in Bass 
Straits by light easterly winds — passed within 3 miles of Cape Horn at 
noon, 1 5th February — crossed equator at noon, 15th March — signalled 
Lizard at noon, 12th April, and docked in Antwerp on 15th April, 
87 days out. 

Captain Stuart died at sea on his next voyage, on 
the morning of his birthday, 21st September, 1894, 
and was buried at sea some 300 miles S.W. of Queens - 
town, the Loch Etive being five days out from Glasgow, 
He was 63 years of age and had been 43 years a 
master. It was his proud boast that during the whole 
of his career he had never lost a man or a mast overboard. 
Though offered many a chance to go into steam or a 
larger ship, Captain Stuart preferred to remain in the 
Loch Etive. Without a doubt he was one of the most 



286 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

successful captains in the history of our Mercantile 
Marine. Many of his men sailed year after year with 
him, and there are men in command at the present day 
who originally shipped before the mast with Stuart and 
owed not only their sea training but their education to 
him. Peterhead, his native town, was very proud of 
Captain Stuart, as well it might be. With Viking 
blood in his veins, he went to sea in 1846 through the 
hawse hole of a Peterhead schooner in the Baltic trade, 
and rose to the topmost pinnacle of his profession. May 
the British race produce many more like him. 

Loch Etive was sold to the French in 1911 for £1350. 

The Wreck of *'Loch Sloy. " 

The Loch Sloy was another 1200 -ton Loch liner. 
She was Captain Home's first ship in the Australian 
trade, and he left her to take over the Loch Garry in 1885. 
In April, 1899, when on a passage to Adelaide under 
Captain Nichol, the Loch Sloy overran her distance and 
was wrecked on Kangaroo Island. Captain Nichol was 
trying to pick up Cape Borda light, but it was shut out 
from him by the cliffs between Cape Bedout and Cape 
Couldie, and the Loch Sloy, in the darkness of the 
morning of 24th April, drove on to the Brothers Rocks 
and became a total loss in a few moments, the heavy 
surf sweeping right over her. The crew and seven 
saloon passengers took refuge in the rigging, but one 
by one the masts went over the side, and the men were 
hurled into the breakers. The ship had struck 300 
yards from the shore and only four men reached it — a 
passenger, two able seamen and an apprentice. None 
of the survivors remembered how they got ashore ; they 
heard the crash of the masts, then felt the wreckage 
bumping them about in the surf, and finally found 




"LOCH ETIVE." 




ARGONAUT," in the Clyde. 



[To face page 286. 



LOCES SHI EL AND SUN ART 287 

themselves lying wedged amongst the rocks, where the 
breakers had washed them up. 

The following account of their subsequent hardships 
appeared in an Adelaide paper : — 

The survivors endured dreadful privations before they reached a 
settlement. They had plenty of whisky, which had floated ashore 
from the wreck, but for solid food they had to eat grass, dead penguins 
cast up by the waves, and shellfish. They suffered terribly through 
insufficient clothing and lack of boots. Two of them walked along the 
coast until they came to the Cape Borda light. One went inland to 
May's Settlement. The other survivor, David Kilpatrick, the passenger, 
was so ill that he had to be left behind. When search parties came back 
for him he had disappeared, and it was not till a week later that a 
systematic search of the island led to the discovery of his dead body a 
mile and a half from the spot where the others had left him. 

The Loss of Lochs **Shier' and **Sunart." 

Loch Shiel, the sister ship of Loch Sloij, was lost on 
the Thome Rock, Milford Haven on the 30th January, 
1901 . Her master mistook the Great Castle Head lights 
and got on the rocks at 8.40 p.m., the Loch liner being 
bound out to Australia from Glasgow. There was no 
loss of life, however, on this occasion, half the crew 
being taken out of the mizen rigging by a lifeboat, and 
the other half climbing ashore on to the rocks by means 
of her bowsprit. 

Loch Sunart, the last three-master built for the 
Loch line, was launched in January, 1878. Her life 
was a very short one, as on her second passage out to 
Melbourne she was piled up on the Skulmartin Rock, 
11th January, 1879. 

Notes on Passages to Australia in 1877. 

Loch Maree left Glasgow on 5th May, but was 
held up for four days in sight of Tory Island, first by 
calms and then strong S.W. \yinds. Between 21° S.— 



288 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

the limit of the S.E. trades — and the Cape meridian, 
she had ten days of strong N.W. winds, during which 
she logged over 300 miles a day for several days in 
succession. 

Ben Cruachan had such favourable winds in the 
Chanel that she carried the Channel pilot on to Madeira, 
where she landed him on 25th April. She made very 
steady running down south, for her best day's work 
was only 296 miles. Her sister ship, Ben Voirlich, on 
the contrary, made a run of 350 miles on 26th July in 
35° 37' S., 22° 10' W., though she took 83 days from 
Achill Head to Hobson's Bay. 

Pericles, with 489 emigrants on board, made a good 
start in her career, like all Thompson's ships. Between 
the 23rd and 24th November in 44° S., she ran 354 miles 
before what Captain Largie called a hurricane, so it is 
not surprising that Brilliant failed to catch her in spite 
of an average of 261 miles a day for 22 days between 
the Cape and Otway. Brilliant, however, instead of 
emigrants, had 4000 tons of general cargo on board. 

Patriarch, who very rarely suffered damage in bad 
weather, took a very heavy sea over her poop during a 
W.N.W. gale on the 2nd September in 100° E., and lost 
9 feet of her taffrail and three stanchions over the side. 
This sea would not have been a pleasant one for Loch 
Vennachar or Sir Walter Raleigh, both of which had 
their decks lumbered up with horse boxes full of draught 
stock . 

Samuel Plimsoll as usual made some good running 
down south, her best week's work being 2050 miles. 

Thermopylae was hard chased by Cutty Sark, in spite 
of a 17 -day run from the Lizard to the equator. It is a 
pity the two ships did run their easting down on the same 
parallel, as they must have been neck and neck down 



PASSAGES IN 1877 



289 



south, but Cutty Sark kept in 46° S. , whilst Thermopylae 
did not go higher than 44^ 30' S. Both ships by the way 
were forced by bad weather to put back to the Downs on 
their first attempts to get down Channel.* 

PASSAGES TO SYDNEY UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1877. 









Crossed 


Passed 






Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 


Cape 


S.W.Cape 


Arrived 


Days 






Equator 


Meridian 


Tasmania 




Out 


Cutty Sark • 


Lizard Dec. 6 


Dec. 28 


Jan. 18 '78 


Feb. 13 '78 


Feb. 1678 


72 


Patriarch 


Start July 3 


July 26 




Sept. 12 
(Otway) 


Sept. 15 


74 


Periclen 


Plymouth Sept. 20 


Oct. 17 


.Nov. 7 


Nov. 30 


Dec. 3 


74 


Brilliant 


Start Oct. 2 


Oct. 31 


Nov. 26 


Dec. 10 
(Otway) 


Dec. 20 


79 


Samuel Plimsoll ■ 


Plymouth June 9 


July 7 


July 28 


Aug. 23 


Aug. 27 


79 










(Otway) 







PASSAGES TO MELBOURNE UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1877. 











Crossed 


Passed 






Ship 


Departure 




Crossed 


Cape 


Cape 


Arrived 


Days 








Equator 


Meridian 


Otway 




Out 
67 


Loch Maree - 


Cape Clear May 13 


June 3 


June 24 


July 19 


July 19 


Ben Cruachan 


Lizard April 


17 


May 13 






June 23 


67 


Thermopylae ■ 


Lizard Dec. 




Dec. 20 


Jan. 17 '78 


Feb. 14'78 


Feb. 15'78 


74 


Mermerus 


Start June 


30 


July 28 


Aug. 19 




Sept. 13 


75 


Miltiades 


Start June 


13 


July 10 


July 31 




Aug. 27 


75 


Loch Vennachar 


Channel April 




May 2 


May 29 




June 22 


75 


Romanoff 


Lizard April 




Apl. 25 


May 19 




June 15 


75 


Loch Fyne 


Tuskar Dec. 


20 








Mar. 5 '78 


75 


Salamis 


Start July 




Aug. 1 


Aug. 26 




Sept. 21 


76 


Thoman Stephens - 


Tuskar Aug. 


12 


Sept. 9 


Sept. 30 


Oct. 26 


Oct. 27 


76 


Loch Ryan 


Tuskar Mar. 




Mar. 27 


Apl. 23 




May 21 


76 


Theophane 


Holyhead June 


30 


July 30 


Aug. 21 




Sept. 15 


77 


Parthenope ■ 


Holyhead Aug. 


17 


Sept. 19 


Oct. 10 


Nov. 1 


Nov. 2 


77 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


Lizard July 




July 30 


Aug. 22 




Sept. 20 


77 


Loch Garry - 


Qu'nstown July 


11 


Aug. 10 


Sept. 2 


Sept. 25 


Sept. 26 


77 


Maulesdcn - 


Tuskar Mar. 




Mar. 26 


Apl. 24 




May 22 


79 



* This passage of Cutty Sark has been wrongly given in my China 
Clippers. She left London for the second time on 2nd December, not 
the 12th, as there stated. The mistake was made in the shipping reports 
of the day and never corrected, and I have only lately been able to 
prove it. 



290 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

•' Cimba." 

In April, 1878, Hood launched the beautiful 
little Cimba for A. Nicol, and with her green hull, gold 
scrolls and lion figure-head she was a familiar visitor to 
Port Jackson for close on 30 years. 

An out and out wool clipper, she was very heavily 
rigged, her chief measurements being:— 

Main lower mast 60 feet. 



82 
76 
69 
58 
52 
41 



Fore and main yards 

Fore and main lower topsail yards 
Fore and main upper topsail yards 
Fore and main lower topgallant yard 
Fore and main upper topgallant j^ards 
Fore and main royal yards 

Her lower masts were short compared to some clippers, 
but her lower yards were very heavy, her fore and main 
yards weighing over 4 tons each . 

Her first master was J. Fimister, who had her until 
1895, when Captain J. W. Holmes took her over until 
she was sold abroad in 1906. 

Under Captain Fimister her best passages were : — 

1880 Channel to Sydney 71 days 

• 1882 Channel to Sydney 82 .. 

1884 Channel to Sydney 79 „ 

1889 Sydney to London 75 „ 

1891 Sydney to Channel 84 „ . 

1892 Channel to Sydney 83 „ 

1893 Sydney to Channel 86 ,. 

1894 Channel to Sydney 80 „ 

On her maiden trip she left London 27th June — left Channel 2nd 
July, 5 days out — crossed the line 28th July. 26 days from departure — 
crossed Cape meridian 20th August, 49 days from departure — arrived 
Sydney 29th September, 89 days from departure 

A curious notoriety came upon the new clipper in 
Sydney owing to Captain Fimister, in his eagerness to 
get loaded and away in good time for the wool sales, 
jumping Patriarch's loading berth at Circular Quay. 

The berth was vacated by Nineveh on a Saturday. 



CIMBA 291 

The port arrangements in those days allowed ships to go 
alongside in the order in which they had booked the 
berth. On this occasion Patriarch had booked the 
berth on 18th August, Smyrna on 20th August, Cairn- 
bulg on 9th September, St. Lawrence on 13th September, 
Centurion on 26th September and Cimha on 30th Septem- 
ber — the day after she arrived. 

On Nineveh sailing, Patriarch should have hauled 
alongside, but her captain had been told that as it was 
Saturday he need not come alongside until Monday. 
The Patriarch, being in no particular hurry as a good deal 
of her wool was still up country, therefore remained 
where she was. Hearing of this, the enterprising 
Captain Fimister proceeded to hire a tug and move his 
ship from Smith's Wharf where she was lying to the 
vacant berth at Circular Quay, all ready to load the wool 
which was waiting for him. He took the precaution, 
however, to take his shorefasts through the quay rings 
and aboard again. This defiance of the harbour 
authorities was allowed to go unnoticed until Monday 
morning. Then Captain Fimister received an order to 
remove his ship. Of this he took no notice. His 
action, as ma}^ be supposed, was the talk of the port, 
especially amongst the captains of the wool clippers. 
One of these skippers threatened to moor his ship in 
Sydney Cove, ready to be the next to jump the berth. 
Others complained in person to the Colonial Secretary. 

On Tuesday morning Captain Bell, the harbour- 
master, went in person to the Cimha to order her removal, 
but the undaunted Captain Fimister triced up his 
gangway ladder and threatened to throw him overboard 
if he attempted to gain the deck. By this time all the 
legal lights of Sydney were puzzling their heads over the 
legal aspects of the case ; Messrs. Dangar, Gedye & Co., 



292 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

the ship's agents, upholding the captain. Finally the 
Colonial Treasurer sent the President of the Marine 
Board an order to remove the ship. So at 6 a.m. on 
Wednesday morning, Captain Hixson, the assistant 
harbourmaster, with 20 men and half-a-dozen water 
police, boarded the ship, only to find that Captain 
Finister and his whole crew had flown after first removing 
every means of weighing the anchor. But a harbour- 
master is not easily balked, and Captain Hixson let go 
the shorefasts, slipped the chain, and with the aid of a 
tug took the Cimba out and moored her at the man-of- 
war buoy off Fort Macquaric. 

It was now time for Dangar, Gedye & Co. to take 
action. They immediately enlisted the help of Sir John 
Robertson, who moved the adjournment of the House in 
order that an explanation of the harbourmaster's high- 
handed proceedings might be given. The House was 
already divided into two factions over Captain Fimister's 
action, but the Colonial Secretary firmly upheld the 
Marine Board, and in the end Captain Fimister was fined 
20 shillings and 5s. costs and ordered to pay £28 4s. , the 
cost of removing the Ciinha from the berth. 

All this trouble really arose firstly through the 
Patriarch's being ahead of her cargo, and secondly owing 
to Circular Quay being a free berth. This was shortly 
afterwards rectified, but the Patriarch did not get away 
until a month after the Cimba for want of cargo. 

In 1889, the Cimba made her best wool passage, as 
follows: — 

October 22— Left Sydney. 

November 18 — Passed Cape Horn . . . . 27 days out. 

December 11 — Crossed the equator .. . . 50 ,, 

December 25 — Passed the Western Isles . . 64 „ 

January 3 '90 — Signalled in the Channel . . 73 „ 

January 5 — Arrived London • . . . . . 75 „ „ 



CIMBA 298 

Captain Holmes, who took the Cimha in 1895, had 
had a long experience in clipper ships. He had been 
third mate of the S alarms, chief mate of Hallowe^en and 
Blackadder, and commander of the Lencadia, a smart ship 
built for the China trade. 

The Aberdeen ships were, however, very clannish, 
and being a stranger and not a Scot, he had his reputation 
all to make, the standard set being a very high one. 
However, he knew how to carry sail, and he managed to 
keep the Cirnba moving, though she was always a tender 
ship requiring a master hand . 

Under him, her best passages were: — 

1895 Lizard to Sydney .. .. .. 82 days. 

Her best week's work was 1860 miles, and her best 
24 ho . . , run, made on 6th June in 39° 51 ' S. , 34° 54' E. , 
336 miles in a fresh gale from S.W., during which the 
second mate was lost overboard . 

(Jther good runs on this passage were : — 300, 302, 308 
and 312. 

1896 Sydney to London . . . , . . 78 days. 

Cimha left Sydney in company with Thessalus and 
Argonaut on 17th October. Passed the Horn on 15th 
November, 29 days out — on 18th November in 51° 31 ' S. , 
55° 47' W., ran 316 miles, the wind blowing a strong gale 
from W.S.W. to W.N.W.— crossed the line on 8th 
December, 23 days from the Horn — passed Fayal, 
Western Isles, on Xmas Day, and signalled the Lizard at 
1 p.m. 31st December, 75 days out. 

This was really a splendid performance, for the 
IViessalus, which was really a much faster and more 
powerful ship, signalled the Start on 31st December at 
noon, whilst Argonaut, which was certainly quite as fast 
as Cirnba, did not arrive luitil a month later. 

1898 Sydney to London ., ,. ,. 81 days. 



294 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



Passed the Horn on 2nd November, 25 days out, 
having run 3422 miles in 14 days — crossed the line on 
29th November, 27 days from the Horn — passed the 
Western Isles on 20th December, Lizard light abeam 
at 8 a.m. on 26th December, 79 days out. 

In 1899 Cimba went out to Rockhampton and Itjaded 
home from Brisbane. In 1901 she went out to Sydney 
in 85 days, her best run being 310 miles. 

By this time sailing ship freights were in a very bad 
way, and a profitable charter in Sydney grew more and 
more difficult to obtain, thus in 1905 we find her making 
the record passage between Callao and Iquique for a 
sailing ship. As this may be of interest, I give her 
abstract log below : — 

ABSTRACT LOG OF CIMBA FROM CALLAO TO IQUIQUE 
RECORD SAILING SHIP PASSAGE. 



July 2-7 

July 3 

4 

„ 6 

6 

.. 7 

8 

9 

„ 10 

.. 11 

„ 12 

M 13 

» 14 

„ 16 

„ 16 

.. 17 



p.m. got underweigh. 



Lat. 1 


12° 


48'S 


14" 


30' 


16" 


47' 


19° 


20' 


21° 


48' 


23° 


52' 


25'^ 


32' 


23° 


57' 


23° 


8' 


23° 


10' 


23° 


53' 


22° 


42' 


21° 


38' 


20° 


57' 


20° 


31' 



Long. 1 


79° 


24'\V 


80° 


15' 


81° 


49' 


82° 


54' 


84° 


17' 


85° 


52' 


86° 


34' 


84° 


41' 


82° 


24' 


81° 


35' 


78° 


00' 


75° 


7' 


71° 


00' 


70*' 


48' 


70° 


22' i 



Course. 

S50° W. 

S46° 

S34° 

S22° 

S28° 

S35° 

S21° W. 

N47° E. 

N69° 

S87° 

S78° 

N66° 

N75° 

N15° 

Sll° 



Dist. 

80mls 

150 „ 

16") „ 

165 „ 

168 „ 

152 „ 

160 „ 

141 „ 

135 „ 

46 ., 

202 .. 

175 „ 

246 „ 

43 „ 

31 .. 



Wind 
S.S.E. 



S.E. by E. 

S. Easterly 



S.E. by S. 
South, S.VV. 
N.W. Westerlv 
W'ly toS.S.VV. 
S. Easterly 



(2080 miles in 14 days.) 

This was Cimba^s last vo} age under the British flag ; 
she came home from Caleta Buena to Falmouth in 85 
days, and was then sold (March, 1906) to the Norwegians 
owing to the death of her owner. 

Under the Norwegians she made a remarkable passage 
from Dublin to the St. Lawrence in 14 days; lumber 



PASSAGES IN 1878 



295 



was now her chief cargo and she used often to be seen 
discharging firewood from the Baltic in the Aberdeen 
Bay, East India Dock, where she had so often loaded 
general for Sydney. 

PASSAGES TO SYDNEY UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1878. 



Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

Cape 

Meridian 


Passed 
S.W.Cape 
Tasmania 


Arrived 


Days 
Out 

! 


Loch FAice - 
Thomas Stephens - 


Sclllies Jan. 17 
Plymouth June 16 


Feb. 6 
July 18 


Mar. 4 
Aug. 1 


Mar. 28 
Aug. 21 


Apl. 8 
Aug. 31 


1 

78 
77 



PASSAGES TO MELBOURNE 


UNDER 80 DAYf 


3 IN 1878. 










Crossed 


Passed 






Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 


Cape 


Cape 


Arrived 


Days 






Equator 


Meridian 


Otway 




Out 


Thensaliis 


I-izard Mar. 7 


Mar. 28 


Apl. 20 




May 14 


88 


Parthenope - 


Tuskar July 7 


July 31 


Aug. 20 




Sept. 18 


71 


ArUtides 


Start July 3 


July 27 


Aug. 18 




Sept. 15 


74 


Milt lades 


Start May 31 


June 30 


July 21 


Aug. 13 


Aug. 14 


76 


Loch Vennavhar 


Smalls July 10 


Aug. 4 


Aug. 29 




Sept. 23 


75 


Old Remington 


Lizard June 5 


Juiy 2 


July 24 


Aug. 19 


Aug. 20 


76 


Aviemore 


Start June 29 


July 27 


Aug. 18 


Sept. 15 


Sept. 16 


79 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1878. 

Thessalus was the heroine of the year, though on 
her arrival in Melbourne critics declared that she was 
too deeply loaded for safety. 

Miltiades had a bad time running her easting down ; 
on more than one occasion her decks were badly swept, 
and once Captain Perrett was washed off the poop on to 
the main deck and had his head badly cut about. 

Loch Ven7iachar, owing to the death of Captain 
Robertson, had a new skipper in Captain J. S. Ozanne, 
her late chief officer. He proved that he could carry 
sail by two 24-hour runs of 325 and 311 miles. 

Captain Stuart made a very good maiden passage out 
to Sydney, but Loch Etive never had anything like the 
speed of his old ship the Tweed. 



296 THE COLONIAL CLIPPER 

Parthenope had the veteran Captain Grey in command 
this year, and he certainly made her travel. Of the 
other crack ships Salamis was 83 and Samuel Plimsoll 
86 days to Sydney; whilst of the Melbourne clippers 
Loch Garry was 80, Loch Maree 82, Mermerus, Ben 
Cruachan and Romanoff 83, Sir Walter Raleigh 84 and 
Ben Voirlich 87 days. Neither of the two tea clippers, 
Cutty Sark and Thermopylae^ sailed for the Colonies in 
1878. 

** Sophocles." 

The Sophocles was a pretty little ship, frhonofh, 
following the trend of the times, she was given a fuller 
body than Thompson's earlier ships, as she was mean 
to be an economical carrier rather than a record breaker. 
I believe she is still afloat rigged as a barque under 
Italian colours. 

Passages to Australia in 1879. 

I have had considerable difficulty in finding any 
good passages to Melbourne or Sydney in 1879. It was 
a time of depressed freights and ships found themselves 
seeking cargoes in other than their regular trades. 
Thus we find the tea clipper Titania on the Melbourne 
run instead of going out to China . The Thomas Stephe^is 
tried a voyage to Otago. Salamis was still in the East 
seeking a tea cargo. Thessalus went to Calcutta from 
Penarth, whilst the poor little Cutty Sark had many 
strange and unpleasant adventures before she resumed 
her place in the Australian trade, which was not until 
1883. 

Of the other cracks Patriarch with 90 days, Miltiades 
with 88, Ben Voirlich with 87, Loch Maree with 94, 



PASSAGES IN 1879 



297 



Old Kensington with 96, Cimba with 91 and Thermopylae 
with 86 days all made poor passages. 

Tlie two rivals, Brilliant and Pericles, were the only 
sliips to make Sydney in under 80 days from the Channel, 
and owing to Pericles getting ashore close to Plymouth 
and having to come back and dock and discharge her 
cargo, etc., the two ships eventually left the Lizard 
together. 



Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

Cape 

Meridian 


Passed 
Cape 
Otway 


Arrived 
Sydney 


Days 
Out 


Pericles 
Brilliant 


Lizard Aug. 30 
Lizard Aug. 30 


Sept. 25 
Sept. 27 


Oct. 17 
Oct. 20 


Nov. 10 
Nov. 12 


Nov. 14 
Nov. 15 


76 

77 



The best passages out to Melbourne were the 
following :— 



Ship 


Left 


On 


Arrived 


On 


Days 
Out 


Sobraon 


Plymouth 


Oct. 3 


Melbourne 


Dec. 16 


74 


Mennerus • 


Channel 


March 28 


„ 


June 11 


77 


Titania 




Feb. 21 


„ 


May 7 


75 


Aristides 


„ 


July 8 


»» 


Sept. 23 


77 


Loch Vennachar - 


Clyde 


July 4 




Sept. 23 


81 


Ben Cruachan 


Channel 


June 5 


1* 


Aug. 25 


81 


Loch Garry - 


Clyde 


June 6 


*• 


Aug. 27 


82 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


Channel 


June 9 


•' 


Aug. 30 


82 



PASSAGES TO SYDNEY UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1880. 



Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Crossed 

Cape 

Meridian 


Passed 
Tasmania 


Arrived ^'^^" 
Out 


Cimba 

Samuel Plimsoll • 

The Tweed - 


Channel June 11 
Plymouth April 29 

Lizard May 15 


July 7 
May 15 

June 8 


July 27 
June 10 

June 27 


July 5 
(Otway) 
July 21 

(S.W.Capc) 


Aug. 21 
July 9 

July 29 


72 
72 

76 



298 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



PASSAGES TO MELBOURNE UNDER 80 DAYS ] 


[N 1880. 










Crossed 


Passed 




Days 
Out 


Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 


Cape 


Cape 


Arrived 






Equator 


Meridian 


Otway 




Ben Voirlich 


Lizard June 13 


July 8 


July 25 


Aug. 17 


Aug. 19 


67 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


Start May 17 


June 10 


June 30 


July 22 


Ju'y 23 


67 


Romanoff 


Lizard June U 


July 6 


July 27 


Aug. 17 


Aug. 18 


68 


Ben Cruachan 


Lizard April 18 


May 10 


May 30 




June 27 


70 


Ariitides 


Lizard July 27 


Aujr. 23 


Sept. 12 


Oct. 4 


Oct. 5 


70 


MiUUuhs 


Lizard May 6 


May 31 


June 21 


July 15 


July 16 


71 


Loch Vmnachar 


Tuakar June 1 


June 27 


July 18 


Aug. 12 


Aug. 12 


72 


Loch Maree - 


CJreeuock Slay 1 


May 2.5 


June 19 




July 12 


73 


Mermerus 


Dunf?enc..3 May 14 








July 26 


73 


Salamis 


Start May 27 


June 20 


July 11 




Aug. 10 


75 


Loch Katrine - 


Clyde Dec. 4 








Feb.l7 '81 


75 


Theophane 


Tuskar Aug. 11 








Oct. 27 


77 


Old Kensington 


Channel April 30 








July 17 


78 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1880. 

It will be noticed that all the ships going out in 
under 80 days, with exception o£ Aristides, Loch Katrine 
and Theophane, left the United Kingdom in April, 
May or June and got a good slant South. It was also a 
season of hard winds both in the Channel and North 
Atlantic and from the limits of the S.E. trades right 
away to the Otway and even inside the Heads. 

Captain Charles Douglas, from the BlackwaJler 
Malabar, took over the Ben Voirlich this year ; and 
on 21st July when south of Gough Island he got 323 and 
330 miles out of her in 48 hours before a hard W.S.W. 
gale. 

On the 17th August, when in sight of Cape Schanck, 
Ben Voirlich was held up by terrific squalls from N.N. W. 
and N., and had to be brought to under reefed topsails. 
This cost her a day as she was not able to enter the Heads 
until the 19th, when the wind shifted to the W.N.W. 

Sir Walter Raleigh madethe best passage of her career. 
With a good run down Channel, she took her departure 
from the Start the day after leaving the Thames, but 



PASSAGES IN 1880 299 

from the Eddystone to the line she only had two runs of 
over 200. However between 4th and 11th July in 
42° 30' S., she ran 2128 miles, her best day's work being 
only 304 miles, which meant very steady going. She 
also was held up off her port by strong head winds after 
being braced sharp up all the way from the meridian 
of the Leeuwin. 

RomanofJ had to beat down Channel and was six days 
from the Thames to the Lizard, and strong S.W. winds 
compelled her to go inside the Canaries and Cape Verdes. 
She crossed the equator in 21° W. She ran her easting 
down in 44° S., and though she hac no big runs was only 
21 days between the Cape meridian and the Otway. 

Ben Cruachan also had tempestuous weather and 
easterly winds on making the Australian coast, and came 
into port with most of her bulwarks gone . The day after 
passing the Leeuwin meridian, 19th June, she had a 
hard gale with a very heavy beam sea. She had her fore 
and mizen lower topsails blown out of the bolt ropes, 
and carried away two topmast backstays owing to the 
heavy rolling. 

Aristides had to beat out of the Channel against strong 
S.W. gales and Miltiades had three days of S.W. gales 
in the Bay of Biscay, whilst Salamis, which was very 
deeply laden with her Plimsoll mark awash, was forced 
down into 47° S. by hard easterly gales. 

Samuel Plimsoll, with 384 emigrants on board, was 
only 16 days to the equator. Between the Cape and the 
Leeuwin she made the following fine 24-hour runs : — 

June 11 298 June 22 291 

.,15 291 „ 23 308 

..17 313 .,25 314 

.19 304 „ 26 300 

The Tweed this year was commanded by Captain 



800 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



White, who had had the Blackadder. The old ship 
averaged 240 miles a day from the equator to the S.W. 
Cape, Tasmania, her best day's work being from 8th to 
9th July, when she covered 362 miles. 

Loch Maree ran down her easting in 41° S. and ex. 
perienced no very heavy weather, but managed to 
average 284 miles a day for 28 days. 

Rodney went out to Adelaide in 74 days, but her 
passage was thrown in the shade by the wonderful 
Torrens, which arrived a few days later, only 65 days out 
from Plymouth. 

The Thomas Stephens left Liverpool on 29th April and 
made the fine run of 83 days to Rangoon. 

Passages under 80 days to Sydney in 1881. 

Again only three ships made the run out to Sydney 
in under 80 days. 

Cimha dropped her pilot in the Channel on lOth May 
and arrived Sydney on 24th July, 75 days out. Samuel 
Plimsoll arrived on 10th June 79 days from the Channel, 
and Loch Etive on 20th September 79 days from the 
Clyde 

PASSAGES TO MELBOURNE UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1881. 









Crossed 


Passed 






Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Cape 


Cape 


Arrived 


Days 






Meridian 


Otway 




Out 


City of Agra ■ 


Lizard May 29 


June 17 


July 11 


Aug. 5 


Aug. 6 


69 


Theopkane 


Tiislcar June 2 


June 2U 


July 20 


Aug. 9 


An?, 10 


69 


Sobraon 


Plymouth Sept. 27 








Dec. 6 


70 


Loch Maree • 


S. Johns P. May 8 


June 1 


June 25 


July 18 


July 18 


71 


Salamis 


Portland April 20 


May 11 


June 6 


June 30 


July I 


72 


Den Voirlich • 


Lizard May 2 


May 25 


June 21 


July 13 


July 15 


74 


Thyatira 


Start May 23 


June 15 


•July JO 




Aug. 


75 


Sir Walter RaleUjh 


Dartmouth May 13 


June 10 


July 3 


July 27 


July 27 


75 


Cassiopt 


Tusliar July 17 








Oct. 3 


78 


Mermerus 


Lizard Mar. 31 


A pi. 22 


May 19 


June 16 


June 17 


78 


MUtiades 


Channel May 4 








July 21 


79 


Aristides 


Lizard June 17 


July 14 


Aug. 8 




Sept. a 


79 



PASSAGES IN 1881 301 

Notes on Passages to Australia in 1881. 

Captain Young once more showed what the old 
City of Agra could do when she got the chance. Between 
the N.E. and S.P^. trades she lost her fore topgallant 
mast in a squall, otherwise the passage was without 
incident. Running the easting down she maintained 
a splendid average, as her best run was only 270. 
Captain Young evidently did not believe in high 
latitudes as he kept her in 39° and 40° S. 

Theophane made a good try to beat the City ofAgra^s 
time ; she made no less than three attempts to enter the 
Heads on the ebb tide, but each time the wind dropped 
in the rip and she was drifted back and at last was 
compelled to wait until the next day and come in on 
the flood. 

Ben Voirlich again made some big runs, her best day's 
work being 349 miles and her best week 2100 miles. 

Loch Maree had to be careful not to ship heavy water, 
as she had four valuable Clydesdale stallions on her 
main deck. Thyatira was in company with the little 
Berean for three days to the southward, parting from her 
eventually in 40° S., 131° E. Berean arrived inLaun- 
ceston on 9th August, 87 days out from Prawle Point. 

The Big **Illawarra." 

In 1881, Devitt & Moore launched out with a 
real big ship, the lllawarra, and put her into the Sydney 
trade. She was not so fine lined as the earlier iron 
clippers, for the competition of steam and reduced 
freights were making good carrying capacity a 
necessity for a money -making ship. Nevertheless 
lllawarra had a very fair turn of speed, and her average 
of passages both outward and homeward was under 
90 days. 



802 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

She will be chiefly remembered as a cadet ship under 
the Brassey scheme ; she succeeded the Hesperus, and 
under Captain Maitland carried premium cadets from 
1899 to 1907. In that year Devitt & Moore made a 
contract to take 100 Warspite boys round the world, 
and as they did not consider the Illawarra large enough, 
they sold her to the Norwegians and bought the Port 
Jackson. 

The Norwegians abandoned the old Illawarra in the 
North Atlantic during March, 1912, when she was on a 
passage from Leith to Valparaiso, her crew being taken 
off by the British steamer Ben^ore Head. 

**Oronte8." 

The OronteSy Thompson's new ship, was also 
more of a deadweight carrier than a clipper. After a 
plodding life with no very startling adventures, she was 
run into and sunk on 23rd October, 1903, by the ss. 
Oceana, when almost in sight of Ostend, whither she 
was bound from a nitrate port. 

The * * Loch Torridon. ' ' 

When the competition of steam began to cut 
badly into the Colonial trade, all the Loch three-masters 
except the Loch Vennachar and Loch Garry, the two 
finest ships in the fleet, had their yards removed from 
the mizen mast and were converted into barques, yet 
they still continued to make fine passages. 

Until the eighties 1500 tons was considered a good size 
for a sailing ship, but the time arrived when it became 
necessary to have ships which possessed both large 
carrying capacity and speed, and every designer strove 
to produce a successful compromise between the two , It 
was soon found that full -rigged ships of 2000 tons and 



I 



LOCH TORRIDON 803 

over were not economical ships to work, and thus it was 
that the four-mast barque came into being. At first 
many owners went in for four-mast ships, but it was 
soon proved that besides being more economical the 
four-mast barque was just as speedy. 

Following the trend of the times Messrs. Aitken & 
Lilburn commissioned Barclay, Curie & Co. in 1881 to 
build them two four-mast barques of 2000 tons burden. 
These were the sister ships Loch Moidart and Loch 
Torridon; Loch Moidart was launched in September 
and Loch Torridon in November. 

The Loch Moidart was only afloat nine years and was 
a general trader. On the 26th January, 1890, at 4 in 
the morning, when bound to Hamburg with nitrate 
from Pisagua, her look-out suddenly reported a bright 
light on the port bow. Five minutes later she struck 
on a sand bank, close to the village of Callantsoog in 
Northern Holland. A violent gale from the westward 
was blowing at the time, and only two men, one of 
whom was the cook, succeeded in gaining the shore alive. 

Her sister ship. Loch Torridon, was one of the best 
known four-mast barques in the British Mercantile 
Marine, and one of the fastest. 

*\Loch Torridon is perhaps one of the most graceful 
and elegant models ever launched from the Glasgow 
yards, ' ' wrote Sir G. M. White, the Naval Architect to 
the Admiralty, in 1892. 

In 1904 John Arthur Barry, the Australian writer, 
wrote of her: — *' She is exceptionally lofty as to her 
masts, exceptionally square as to her yards . She carries 
nothing above a royal, but her royal yards are as long 
as the topgallant yards of most vessels. Her lower 
yards are enormous. The vessel is uncommonly well- 
manned with 20 hands in the foc's'le, with the usual 



304 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



complement of petty officers, together with three mates 
and four apprentices aft. Looking forward from the 
break of the poop, one is struck by the immense amount 
of clear room on her decks, giving a visitor a sense of 
spaciousness and freedom in marked contrast to the 
often lumbered up decks of the average sailer. " 

SPAR PLAN OF LOCH TORRIDON. 



Bowsprit 

Jibboom (outside bowsprit) 
Bowsprit and jibboom (over all) 


. 25 feet. 
31 feet. 
56 feet. 


Spars 


Foremast 
feet 


Mainmast 
feet 


Mizen mast 
feet 


Mast— deck to truck . . 

Lower mast 

Doubling 

Topmast . . . . . . 


• 


148 
68 
18 
57 
7 
27 
2H 
88 
78 
74 
56 
42i 


152 
71 
18 
57 

30 
22i 

88 
78 
74 
56 
42i 


152 
71 
18 
57 

28 
22 
88 
78 
74 
56 
42^ 


Doubling 

Topgallant mast 
Royal mast . . 
Lower yard 
Lower topsail yard 
Upper topsail yard 
Topgallant yard 
Royal yard 


Spars of jiggermast | Length in feet 


Mast— deck to truck 
Lower mast 

Doubling 

Topmast 

Spanker gaff 

Spanker boom 

Jaws of gaff to head of top 


sail '. '. 




128 
70 
12 
71 
38 
46 
72 



Her royals were 18 feet deep, measured at the bunt; 
and the depth of her courses was 38 feet measured at 
the bunt. She also had a spencer gaff on her mizen, 
measuring 24j feet. Thus it will be seen that, though 
she did not carry stunsails, she had plenty of canvas. 

Loch Torridon had a poop 36 feet long, a half -deck 
for apprentices 16 feet long, a midship house 25 feet long, 
and her topgallant foc's'le measured 49 feet in length. 



LOCH TORRIDON 805 

Captain Pattman, who commanded her for over 
26 years, gave the following testimony to her qualities, 
when interviewed by the Shipping Gazette: — ** Being 
perfectly sparred, the ship is easy to steer, and even in 
the worst weather the smallest boy on board can keep her 
on her course.'* 

Anyone who has felt how hard-mouthed the average 
four -mast barque can be will appreciate this quality 
and envy the hicky quartermasters of such a ship. On 
Loch Torridon there was certainly no excuse for bad 
steering, and the most strictly adhered to rule on board 
was that any man or boy fountt more than half a point 
off his course was at once sent away from the wheel in 
disgrace. There were two other factors in Loch Tor- 
ridon^s success, which she owed to her enterprising 
commander. Captain Pattman believed in British 
crews, and took the trouble to train his apprentices. 

Regarding the first, he once remarked : — * ' Give me 
a Britisher everytime, drunken and bad as he is. The 
best crew I ever had during the past 15 years I 
shipped in London last summer (1907). They were 
all Britishers. The view I hold on this question is 
that the British sailing ship sailor cannot be equalled, 
let alone beaten. But the difficulty I have experienced 
is in regard to steamship A.B.'s. I shipped one of 
these fellows some time ago, and it turned out that he 
knew nothing of sailing ship ways. He could not steer, 
and he knew a good deal less than one of our second 
voyage ai^prcntices. As compared with such a man, I 
say, * Give me a foreigner who has been at sea on sailing 
ships for two or three years and who knows the way things 
are done on a sailing ship.' I find, however, that the 
foreigner who has been a few years in British ships 
becomes more insolent, more disobedient and more 



306 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

difficult to manage than the British sail-trained 
seaman." 

With regard to the training of apprentices, many a 
good officer owes his present position to the late Captain 
Pattman. The Loch Torridon apprentices went to the 
wheel on their first voyage. At first they took the 
lee wheel, but as soon as they showed their ability they 
were allowed to stand their regular trick. In other 
matters Captain Pattman was a strong advocate 
of the sj^stem carried out on board the German training 
ships, notably the North German Lloyd. 

Captain Pattman took command of Loch Torridon 
on her second voyage . Her maiden voyage was a very 
tragic one. She went out to Hobson's Bay from 
Glasgow imder Captain Pinder, arriving on 27th April, 
1882, 105 days out. This gave no indication of her 
sailing capabilities, so she was not taken up to load wool 
but was sent across to Calcutta to load jute. She left 
Calcutta on 22nd August. On 9th October, when off 
the Cape, she ran into a heavy gale from W.N.W. 
Captain Pinder hove her to on the starboard tack under 
close -reefed main topsail. After a bit Captain Pinder 
wore her round on to the port tack, but with the squalls 
increasing she lay down to it, dipping her starboard rail. 
Thereupon Captain Pinder decided to wear her back 
on to the starboard tack. The mate besought him 
not to do this without setting the foresail, but un- 
fortunately, having been lucky once, the captain 
insisted, with the result that when she got off before the 
wind she had not enough way on her and a tremendous 
sea came roaring over the stern and carried overboard 
the master, second mate, man at the wheel, sailmaker 
and a boy, all being drowned. The mate also was 
swept awav but was saved by a hitch of the main brace 



CAPTAIN PATTMAN'S CAREER 



807 



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808 THE COLONIAL CLIPPER 

getting round his leg. On the following day the weather 
moderated, and the mate brought the ship home to 
Plymouth, from whence she was towed up to London. 

Captain Pattman took charge of Loch Torridon in 
December, 1882, giving up the command of the four- 
mast ship County of Selkirk in order to take the Loch 
liner. As a sailing ship commander of the first rank, 
it may perhaps be of interest to give a short outline of 
Captain Pattman 's previous career. 

From this record it will be seen that Captain Pattman 
had won his way to command by the time-honoured 
means of the hawse-hole. 

In the barque Advice he had an experience which 
would have sickened most boys of the sea, and he bore 
the scars to his dying day. The officers of the ship 
were actually prosecuted by his father for their brutality, 
the result being that Pattman *s indentures were can- 
celled, the captain had his certificate cancelled and was 
sentenced to 18 months' hard labour, whilst the mate 
was given three years' hard labour. Both were hard 
drinkers and uneducated men. 

The brig Hubertus, which Pattman joined as an 
ordinary seaman, was a real old-fashioned Geordie 
collier brig. Her skipper could neither read nor write, 
and Pattman acted as his clerk and did all his corres- 
pondence. But the old man knew his way about the 
North Sea by smell: he only had to sniff the arming 
of the lead and was never WTong in naming the ship's 
position. These old collier skippers always wore 
sleeved vests and stove-pipe hats at sea, and in the 
summer the Thames was often a wonderful sight when 
these colliers sailed up to London before a fair wind. 
There were often a hundred and more, brigs, schooners, 
and barques, «11 crowding up the river so closely, 



LOCE TORRIDON 809 

that these old Geordie skippers, all smoking long church- 
wardens, would be leaning over their respective taffrails 
exchanging greetings and gossip. Truly 60 years have 
changed the London River. Yet many a man living 
to-day can remember the year 1866, when Pattman 
sailed up to London in his Geordie brig. It was the 
year in which the three famous tea clippers Ariel, 
Taeping, and Serica arrived in the river on the same 
tide. Seafaring then was far more like that of the days 
of Drake and the Elizabethans than it is like the 
seafaring of the present .day. 

Lauderdale was a well-known ship in the China trade, 
and the Christiana Thompson was, of course, the Aber- 
deen White Star liner. 

On her first three voyages under Captain Pattman, 
Loch Torridon took first, second, and third class pas- 
sengers out to Melbourne from Glasgow. 

She left Glasgow on 2nd March, 1883, with 7 saloon, 
33 steerage passengers and 12 prize stallions for Port 
Phillip. Passed Rothesay Bay on the 5th and the 
Tuskar on the 8th. Running down the easting she 
made 1911 miles in one week, and was only 22 days 
between the Cape meridian and Hobson's Bay, passing 
through the Heads 74 days out from the Tuskar. 

At Melbourne she took on board 320 horses, 2 cows, 
3 dogs, 12 sheep and 27 Chinese grooms for Calcutta. 
The trade in walers between Australia and Calcutta 
was a very lucrative one in those days. On the Loch 
Torridon a new system was adopted for taking the horses 
on board. They were walked from the railway trucks 
up gangways on to the main deck, then down other 
specially laid gangways through the hatchways and so 
into their stalls. This method proved an unqualified 
success and saved four davs' time on the old method 



810 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

of slinging them aboard. The hatch gangways were left in 
position, and while at sea the horses were exercised on 
deck in batches, every horse getting 24 hours a week on 
deck. This would have been impossible on a ship with 
an incumbered deck, but here the fine clean sweep 
of Loch Torridon^s main deck came in useful as a sort 
of training ground. 

Sailing from Melbourne on 20th June, 1883, the Loch 
Torridon was unfortunate in encountering very bad 
weather between Cape Otway and the Leeuwin, in which 
she lost 27 horses and 2 Chinese grooms. She arrived 
in Calcutta on 1st August, 42 days out, and cleared 
£1250 on the trip after paying all expenses such as 
fittings, grooms and horse food. From Calcutta she 
took 103 days to London. 

On the 26th May, 1884, Loch Torridon again left 
Glasgow for Melbourne with 8 saloon, 8 second class and 
34 steerage passengers, and the usual Clyde cargo of 
pig iron, pipes, bar iron, heavy hardware, bricks, 
boards, ale and whisky. She put into Rothesay Bay 
for shelter from the weather on 30th May, and passed the 
Tuskar on 2nd June. Crossed the line on 1st July in 
27° W. The S.E. trades were southerly and she had to 
beat along the Brazilian coast to 17° S. Passed the 
Cape meridian on 30th July in 44° S. On 10th and 11th 
August she logged 642 miles, was 23 days from the Cape 
meridian to Port Phillip, and arrived in Melbourne 23rd 
August, 82 days from the Tuskar. She then took coal from 
Newcastle, N.S.W., to Frisco, making the run across 
the Pacific in 58 days : and loaded a grain cargo home. 

In 1885 she ran out to Melbourne from Glasgow with 
58 passengers in 89 days, crossed to Frisco with New- 
castle coal in 58 days, and took 49,317 bags of wheat 
from Frisco to Hull. 



LOCH TORRIDON 811 

In 1886 she went out to Bombay from Cardiff with 
2928 tons of coal, arriving Bombay on 14th January, 
1887, 97 days out, having raced and beaten the County 
of Edinburgh. 

After lying three months in Bombay, she got a freight 
home to Dunkirk. 

In 1887 Loch Torridon went to Calcutta from Liverpool 
and then took a Calcutta cargo to New York, arriving 
there on 10th June, 1888, 102 days out. From New 
York she took case oil back to Calcutta, but at 8.15 a.m. 
on 1st November she stranded on Bangaduni Sand and 
Captain Pattman had to jettison cargo to get her off. 
It was proved at the inquiry that an abnormal nor'- 
westerly current caused by cyclonic disturbances at the 
south end of the Bay of Bengal had set the Loch Torridon 
in on the land. The weather had been thick for some 
days and Captain Pattman had no blame attached to 
him. Temporary repairs were made in Calcutta, and 
on her arrival home permanent repairs were made at 
Jarrow -on -Tyne . 

In 1889 Loch Torridon again went to Calcutta, taking 
a brutal cargo of railway iron from Middlesboro, and 
came home to London. 

In 1890 she went out to Calcutta from Liverpool in 
87 days port to port, and took jute back to Dundee. 

In 1891 Loch Torridon at last returned to the 
Australian trade, arriving in Sydney from Glasgow 
94 days out. Then after lying in Sydney for five 
months, she loaded her first wool cargo. Amongst the 
magnificent fleet of 77 sailing ships, which were screwing 
wool into their holds for the London market. Loch 
Torridon was considered an outsider, a dark horse with 
her name all to make ; and she thus had to w ait for the 
last sales, and did not get away until the 27th March, 



8155 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

1892. Nevertheless the Loch Torridon made the best 
passage of the season and had the honour of beating all 
the cracks. The following is Captain Pattman's 
account of his passage : — 

My passage home was the smartest of the wool season, 1891-2, 
either from Melbourne or Sydney, being 81 days to the Lizard and 83 to 
dock. After I left Sydney, I got down as far as Jervis Bay and there 
met an S.S.E. gale, which was in force for 36 hours. I went away for 
the north of New Zealand, which I passed on the 14th day out. 1 fell 
in with the Liverpool there. I was in 150° W. on 29th April, before 1 
got a wind without any easting in it. Nothing but N.E.E. and S.E. 
winds prevailed up to that time. On 14th May I rounded the Horn, 
40 days out, I was nearly grey-headed at that time. On 21st May I 
fell in with the Straihdon. We were both dodging icebergs, the Strathdon 
had been in amongst them since 18th May, but I only had 12 hours of it, 
which was quite enough. I left her astern in a short time. On 3rd 
June I was in 0" 27' S. lat., 60 days from Sydney, 20 from the Horn. On 
24th June I signalled at the Lizards, 21 days from the equator. I think 
it is a record passage from the Horn. I can hardly believe my good 
fortune, for I threw up the sponge when I got to the Horn, 40 days out, 
and made sure that the passage would run into three figures. Loch 
Torridon passed everything we saw, in fact she never sailed better with 
me. 

I saw in the evening papers that the Hesperus was reported in 14° N. 
on 1st June. I was in 0° 27' S. on 3rd June. The Hesperus docked 
yesterday. She was the only one I thought had a chance with me, and 
I am of opinion that if I had gone south of New Zealand I should have 
done much better. It would have been hard lines if I could not have 
rounded the Snares in 14 days and been in a better position for winds as 
well, but I am content. I have shown that an outsider, as they looked 
upon the Loch Torridon, can show the road to their regular traders. 



Ice to the Southward. 

It will be noticed from Captain Pattman's letter 
on his run home in 1892 that Strathdon and Loch Torridon 
encountered ice to the south 'ard. And they were not 
the only ships to do so. 

In the years 1892 and 1893 a tremendous drift of field 
ice and huge bergs, many of them over 1000 feet in 



CROMDALE 313 

height, blocked the way of ships in the Southern Ocean, 
as the following reports will show :^ 

1892. 

April Cromdale encountered ice 1000 feet high in 

May Strathdon „ „ 1000 

June County of Edinbro,, „ 900 

Sept. Loch Eck „ „ 1000 ' 

Oct. Curzon „ „ 1000 

Oct. Liverpool „ „ 800 



46° S 


36° W. 


45 S 


25 W. 


45 S. 


37 W. 


44 S. 


2 W. 


44 S. 


31 W. 


56 S 


94 W. 


n 51° 


S. 46° W. 


., 50 


S. 43 W. 


„ 51 


S. 47 W. 


„ 49 


S. 51 W. 


,. 50 


S. 52 W. 



1893. 

Jan. Loch Torridon encountered ice 1500 feet high in 

Feb. Cutty Sark „ „ 1000 

Mar. Turakina „ „ 1200 „ 

April Brier Holme „ „ 1000 

May Charles Racine „ „ 1000 „ 

The Cromdale had a very exciting experience, and 
Captain E. H. Andrew wrote the following account to 
the secretary of the London Shipmasters' Society :— 

We left Sydney on 1st March, and having run our easting down on 
the parallel of 49° to 50° S., rounded the Horn on 30th March without 
having seen ice, the average temperature of the water being 43° during 
the whole run across. 

At midnight on 1st April in 56° S., 58° 32' W., the temperature fell 
to 37^°, this being the lowest for the voyage, but no ice was seen though 
there was a suspicions glare to the southward. 

At 4 a.m. on 6th April in 46° S., 36° W., a large berg was reported 
right ahead, just giving us time to clear it. At 4,30 with the first signs 
of daybreak, several could be distinctly seen to windward, the wind 
being N.W. and the ship steering N.E. about 9 knots. At daylight, 
6.20 a.m., the whole horizon to windward was a complete mass of bergs 
of enormous size, with an unbroken wall at the back ; there were also 
many to leeward. 

I now called all hands, and after reducing speed to 7 knots sent 
the hands to their stations and stood on. At 7 a.m. there was a wall 
extending from a point on the lee bow to about 4 points on the lee 
quarter, and at 7.30 both walls joined ahead. I sent the chief mate 
aloft with a pair of glasses to find a passage out, but he reported 
from the topgallant yard that the ice was unbroken ahead. Finding 
myself embayed and closely beset with innumerable bergs of all shapes, 
I decided to tack and try and get out the way I had come into the bay. 

The cliffs were now truly grand, rising up 300 feet on either side of 



814 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

us, and as square and true at the edge as if just out of a joiner's shop, 
with the sea breaking right over the southern chff and whirhng away in a 
cloud of spray. 

Tacked ship at 7.30 finding the utmost difficulty in keeping clear of 
the huge pieces strewn so thickly in the water and having on several 
occasions to scrape her along one to keep clear of the next. 

We stood on in this way until 11 a.m., when, to my horror, the wind 
started to veer with every squall till I drew quite close to the southern 
barrier, having the extreme point a little on my lee bow. I felt sure 
we must go ashore without a chance of saving ourselves. Just about 
11.30 the wind shifted to S.W. with a strong squall, so we squared away 
to the N.W. and came past the same bergs as we had seen at daybreak, 
the largest being about 1000 feet high, anvil shaped. At 2 p.m. we 
got on the N.W. side of the northern arm of the horseshoe shaped mass. 
It then reached from 4 points on my lee bow to as far as could be seen 
astern in one unbroken line. 

A fact worthy of note was that at least 50 of the bergs in the bay 
were perfectly black, which was to be accounted for by the temperature 
of the water, being 51°, which had turned many over. I also think that 
had there been even the smallest outlet at the eastern side of this mass, 
the water between the barriers would not have been so thickly strewn 
with bergs, as the prevailing westerly gales would have driven them 
through and separated them. I have frequently seen ice down south, 
but never anything like even the smaller bergs in this group. 

I also had precisely the same experience with regard to the tempera- 
ture of water on our homeward passage in the Derwent three years ago, 
as we dipped up a bucket of water within half a mile of a huge berg and 
found no change in the temperature. 

Cromdale, Strathdon, County of Edinburgh and 
Curzon, all sighted this stupendous ice barrier, and Loch 
Torridon when she spoke the Strathdon was on the 
extreme eastern end in about 25° W., whilst the Cromdale 
cleared it at the extreme western end, giving the length 
of the barrier from east to west about 12 degrees of 
longitude. 

In the following year Loch Torridon, Cutty Sark, 
Turakina, Brier Holme and Charles Racine fell in with 
an equally huge field of ice, about 6 degrees of latitude 
further south and stretching from 52° VV. to 43° W. That 
the two fields were the same lot of ice it is very difficult 



LOCH TORRIJWN 815 

to say for certain, but it is more likely that they were 
quite separate from each other. 

Here is Loch Torridon^s account of the 1893 ice as 
given to the Shipping Gazette : — 

Loch Torridon reports that on 17th January, 1893, in lat. 52* 60' S., 
long. 46° W., she sighted two large icebergs to the eastward. On the 
19th in 50° 50' S., 46° W., she passed between numerous immense bergs, 
ranging in size from i^ to 3 miles in length, and from 500 to 1000 feet high. 
At 3.30 p.m. on same date she saw an immense continent of ice ahead 
with apparently no open water. Passing to the eastward she had the 
south end abeam at 4 p.m. and the north end at 9.30 a.m. As the ship 
had been saihng 9 knots an hour during this time, steering a N. 11° E. 
course, this would give the length, north and south, of this mass to be 
about 50 miles. 

How far it extended to the westward was not known, but from aloft, as 
as far as the eye could sec, nothing but ice was visible. Numerous 
large bergs were to the eastward of the barrier, through which Loch 
Torridon threaded her way, besides vast quantities of detached pieces 
of ice and small bergs. 

Numerous bays and indentations were noticed in the continent of 
ice, with bergs and detached ice in the bays cracking against each other 
and turning over. Loch Torridon had sleet and fine snow all night and 
intense cold. Numberless bergs w^ere passed until 8 a.m. on the 20th, 
when an iceberg was abeam to the eastward at least 3 miles long and 
I'oOO feet high. 

The following was the famous Cutty Sark^s experience. 
I have taken it from Captain Woodget's private 
journal : — 

Wednesday, 8th February.— Lat. 50° 08' S., long. 46° 41' W., course 
N. 50° E., distance 150 miles. Gentle S.W. breeze and fine. 6-0 a.m., 
foggy; 6.30, fog lifted and we found ourselves surrounded by icebergs; 
8 a.m., foggy again; ice ahead, in fact there was ice all round. As soon 
as we cleared one berg another would be reported. You could hear 
the sea roaring on them and through them, the ice cracking sometimes 
like thunder, at other times like cannon, and often like a sharp rifle 
report, and yet could not see them. 

At 1 p.m. the top of an iceberg was seen which one could hardly 
believe was ice, it looked like a streak of dark cloud. Then we could 
see the ice a few feet down, but we could not see the bottom. It was 
up at an angle of 45 degrees, we were only about 1000 feet off, so it 
would be 1000 feet high, it had a circular top but we could not see the 
enda. 



310 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

A few minutes later another was under the bows, we only cleared it 
by a few feet. It was about 100 feet high and flat- topped. Just as 
we were passing the corner there was a sharp report that made you 
jump, as if it was breaking in two. 

Found another on the other side quite close, and a few minutes later 
saw the long ridge of ice almost ahead. Kept off, and then another 
came in sight on the other bow. We were too near it to keep awa5^ but 
I felt sure that it was no part of the big one — as we were passing this the 
point of the big one came in sight, the fog cleared and we passed in 
between them, there being not more than 400 feet between them. 
When we had cleared the big one, I saw its north end and took bearings. 
After sailing 8 miles I took other bearings and found that the east side 
was 19 miles long; and we could not see the end of the side we sailed 
along. We sailed about 6 miles alongside of it, water now quite smooth. 
Before noon the water was quite lumpy from all ways. After we had 
cleared the passage by about 3 or 4 miles, it cleared up astern and what 
a sight it was! Nothing but icebergs through the passage and on the south 
side of the passage (for the south berg was only about | mile long north 
and south, same height as the big berg. I expect it had not long broken 
off.) There was nothing but a sea of ice astern, and another large flat- 
topped iceberg, which- as far as you could see extended like land, it 
must have been 20 miles long or more. 

After we were through, there was nothing; but small ice from small 
pieces to bergs 100 feet long. Also there was one about a mile long 
covered with what looked like pumice stone or lumps of tallow. 

*'Loch Torridon's" Voyages, 1892-1908. 

Notwithstanding her fine wool passage in 1892, 
Loch Torridon could not find a cargo in London and was 
obliged to leave the Thames in ballast. With only 
350 tons of flints and a quantity of *' London rubbish " 
as stiffening, she sailed in magnificent style. 

She left Gravesend on 30th July, 1892~was off Start Point, 31st 
July — crossed the equator, 19th August, 20 days out — lost S.E. trades 
in 22° S., 29th August — crossed the Cape meridian, 14th September, 
46 days out — made Moonlight Island, 7th October, 69 days out. 

Loch Torridon^s best week's work was 2119 knots; 
she ran down her easting in 43° S. and made the following 
consecutive runs in the 24 hours- 303, 290, 288, 272, 
285, 270, 327 and 341 miles. 



LOCH TOKRWON 817 

Her passage worked out at 69 days pilot to pilot, 
73 days port to port. This would have been still better 
if she had not had to battle against a * * dead muzzier ' ' 
for the last week of the passage. She cleared for 
London on 30th November, 1892, and after her en- 
counter with the ice arrived in the Thames 96 days out. 

Again she left London in ballast. This time she was 
sent up to Frederickstadt, where she loaded 940 pieces 
of timber and 400 tons of pig iron for Melbourne. Again 
she made a fine run out. 

She sailed on 14th June, 1893, from Frederickstadt. 
Had strong head winds in the North Sea: — 

Passed Dover. 20th June—passed Ushant 24th June— passed Cape 
Finisterrc. 29th June — crossed the line, 23rd July — crossed Cape 
meridian in 42° S., 17th August. 

In lat. 46"^ S., long. 86° E., Loch Torridon was caught 
in an unusually heavy gale with a tremendous cross sea, 
the barometer touching 28.83°. However, she came 
through it without damage, Captain Pattman using 
oil with good effect. Loch Torridon passed through 
Port Phillip Heads at 11.30 p.m. on 9th September, 
87 days from Frederickstadt and 77 days from Ushant. 
At the time this was a record passage from Norway to 
Melbourne. 

Loch Torridon cleared for London on 20th November, 
1893, with a cargo consisting of 8498 bales of wool, 329 
bales of sheepskins, 1250 old rails, 2 casks arsenic, 657 
packages of tallow, 11 packages of books, 2000 bags of 
wheat, 11 bales of fur skins, 12 bales of hair, 1942 bags 
of peas, 118 hides, 351 pigs, horns, etc., 100 bales of 
scrolls. She dropped her pilot on the 30th and reached 
London on 6th March, 96 days out. 

In 1894 she loaded coke and railway iron at Barry for 
Port Pirrie and made the run out in 72 days, her best 



818 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

week's work being 1914 miles and her best 24 hours 
327 miles. 

She left Barry at 6 p.m. on 18th May — crossed the equator, 23 days 
out — crossed the Cape meridian on 30th June — crossed the meridian of 
Cape Leeuwin on 20th July — sighted Cape Borda 10 p.m., 27th July — 
passed Wedge Island at 1 a m., 28th July, in a strong westerly gale and 
anchored at 1 p.m. on 30th July. 

From Port Pirrie she went up to Melbourne and loaded 
another cargo of wool, wheat and hides; and leaving 
Melbourne on 20th December arrived in the Thames on 
21st March, 1895. 

In 1895, owing to the falling off in the export trade 
to Victoria, which sailing ships were, of course, the iirst 
to feel, Loch Torridon was compelled to accept a charter 
for Cape Town. Leaving London 6th July, she reached 
Table Bay on 30th August, 55 days out. Here she was 
visited and greatly admired by Lord Brassey. From 
Africa she went to Australia, but owing to the severe 
drought, like many another clipper that year, she 
failed to get a wool cargo and so was compelled to go 
across to the coast of South America for a homeward 
freight. It was on this occasion that she had the 
famous race to Valparaiso with the well-known four- 
mast ship Wendur. The vessels left Newcastle, N.S.W., 
in company on 1st January, 1896, and though neither 
sighted the other during the passage, they made a 
magnificent race of it. Wendur picked up her pilot 
off Cape Coronilla at 6 p.m. on 29th January, and 
reached the anchorage at 8 p.m., after a record passage 
of 29 days. 

Loch Torridon was held up by fog and calm at the 
entrance to the Bay and did not arrive until six hours 
later. The previous best passage was 32 days, which 
had been made two years before. Many bets had been 



LOCH TORRIDO^ 819 

made on this race, as both ships were noted in the 
Colonies for their sailing qualities. Wendur, indeed, 
was one of the finest ships in the British Mercantile 
Marine, and under Captain Frank Whiston had made 
many a splendid passage and, curiously enough, had 
once before shown Loch Torridon the road by running 
from Frederickstadt to Melbourne in 81 days, before 
which Loch Torridon^ s run had been considered the 
record . 

In the run to Valparaiso W endures best day's work 
was 330 miles with a moderate N.W. wind and heavy 
southerly swell in 54° S . , 128° W. The next day she ran 
310 miles, and three days later 320 miles, the wind 
strong at N.W. with heavy sea; her log remarks that 
she lost her boats, pigstye, goats, etc., on this day, so 
Captain Whiston was driving her. 

Loch Torridon loaded at Tocopilla for Hamburg, and 
was 93 days coming home, a poor passage, her bottom 
was probably foul. On 6th July her decks were badly 
swept off the Horn and she had a big repair bill when 
she arrived in Glasgow from Hamburg. 

In 1896-7 she went out to Adelaide from Glasgow in 
71 days and then crossed from Newcastle, N.S.W., to 
Frisco in 46 days. She left Newcastle on 15th April 
in company with the four-mast ship Thistle and the 
Norwegian ship Hiawatha. Both these vessels were 
dropped hull down to leeward on the first day out. 
Going through the Islands continuous bad weather was 
met with ; Captain Pattman never had his yards off 
the backstays until 35° N. and had difficulty in weather- 
ing Fiji ; nevertheless on 31st May Loch Torridon came 
flying through the Golden Gate in front of a N.Wly. 
gale, and anchored in the Bay at 10 p.m. 

Hiawatha took 62 days, Thistle 79 days, and two 



820 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

other ships, the American barque Topgallant 100 days 
and the Cressington 106 days. Besides beating these, 
Loch Torridon passed no less than ten vessels which 
had sailed from Newcastle before her. lioading grain 
at Port Costa, Loch Torridon sailed on 23rd July, and 
arrived at Falmouth on 13th November, 1897, 113 days 
out. Captain Pattman stated that owing to the foul- 
ness of her bottom his ship was not sailing her best and 
he was disappointed with his passage. 

Other passages home from Frisco that year were : — 

Musselcrag arrived Queenstown .. 110 days out. 

Lord Templeton „ „ ..111 „ 

Sierra Cadena „ „ .,114 „ 

Andelana „ „ ..114 „ 

Dominion „ ,, ..117 ,, 

G if ford .. arrived Liverpool ..118 

Crown of Denmark ., Queenstown ..128 „ 

Caradoc .. ,, „ .. 134 „ 

All these vessels sailed about July and were considered 
crack ships. 

In 1 898 Loch Torridon went out to Adelaide in 79 days. 
Whilst running her easting down she was swept by a 
heavy sea, one man being lost overboard, the half-deck 
burst in like a pack of cards, the donkeyhouse stove, 
and three of the boats flattened out and left like skeletons 
in the chocks, whilst their davits were snapped off close 
to the deck. She came home from Melbourne to London 
in 90 days. 

In 1898-9 she made the splendid run of 72 days 15 
hours to Sydney. 

She left London 5 a.m., 10th November, 1898 — on 11th November 
she ran 300 miles in the 24 hours — on 12th November she ran 315 miles 
in the 24 hours — crossed the line in 28^ W., 22 days out — ran her easting 
down in 45° S., best 24 hours 320 miles and was 23 days from the Cape 
Meridian to Tasmania. 

Loch Torridon had between 4000 and 5000 tons of 



LOCH TORRIDON 821 

heavy general cargo in her hold and was Very deep. 
Between 1875-1887 the clippers loaded nothing like 
such a heavy general cargo outwards, and yet this 
performance of Loch Torridon^s is equal to any of that 
day. 

She arrived in Port Jackson on 31st January, 1899. 
This year for a change she came home from Lyttelton, 
N.Z., in 86 days. 

The next three years she did nothing remarkable. 

1899 London to Adelaide . . . . 85 days 



Melbourne to London 

1900 London to Adelaide 
Melbourne to London 

1901 London to Adelaide 
Adelaide to London 



105 
88 
88 
86 

112 



In 1902 she went out to Adelaide in 79 days, then 

loaded coals at Newcastle, N.S.W., for Frisco. Again 

she made a remarkable run across the Pacific. 

She left Newcastle on 27th April — crossed the line on 17th May in 
169° 42' W. — arrived at Frisco on 11th June, 45 days out. 

At San Francisco Captain Pattman loaded wheat for 
Liverpool. But when he was ready to sail he found 
himself 10 men short, so applied to the usual sources. 
And here is a good instance of the methods of Frisco 
boarding-house masters at that date. He was informed 
that each man would cost him $30 blood money, $25 
advance, $5 shipping fee, $1 boat hire — total $61 per 
man. This was more than a resolute man like Captain 
Pattman could put up with, especially with wheat 
freights to U.K. at lis. 3d. Though the boarding-house 
masters were a law unto themselves in San Francisco 
and boasted of their power, he determined to brave them 
and after some trouble managed to get men at $31 
inclusive per man. His success broke the ring for a 
time, and thev were soon offering men at $21 a head, less 



322 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

$2.50 commission of the captains. No doubt many a 
present day officer will remember the episode, which 
caused quite a stir in windjammer circles at Frisco, and 
even produced a long poem in one of the leading papers. 
This poem was entitled **The Lay of the Loch Torridon/' 
and the patriotic Frisco newspaper man takes care 
that the British captain is bested in his efforts. The 
Loch Torridon sailed on 8th November, in company 
with the four-mast barque Crocodile. Loch Torridon 
arrived Liverpool on 14th March, 1904, and the Crocodile 
on 31st March, over two weeks behind. 

From 1904 to 1909, when Captain Pattman resigned 
his command, Loch Torridon was kept on the Australian 
run, her passages being: — 

1904 Glasgow to Sydney ,, ., 77 days. 
Sydney to London ., .. 97 ,. 

1905 London to Adelaide ,. . . 85 „ 
Melbourne to London . . . . 106 „ 

1906 London to Adelaide . . . . 83 ,. 
Melbourne to London ., ..117 „ 

1907 London to Adelaide . . . . 83 „ 
Melbourne to London . , . . 86 „ 

1908 London to Adelaide . . . . 94 „ 
Melbourne to London . . . . 87 „ 

On her arrival home in 1908, Captain Pattman 
reluctantly decided to give up his command and go into 
steam, his reason that vexed one, the lack of real 
sailormen to man her. Besides which, owing to the 
unwillingness of good men to remain in sail, he had to 
put up with an aged ** has been '* as mate and an 
apprentice just out of his time for second mate. 

In 1912 Loch Torridon was sold to the Russians. 
About the same time Captain Pattman had his leg 
broken by a sea whilst on the bridge of his new command. 
He was landed at Falmouth and died there in hospital. 

The old Loch Torridon survived until 1915, when she 



PORT JACKSON 



823 



foundered near the entrance to the Channel in the last 
days of January, and it is possible that a German sub- 
marine caused her end. Her Russian crew were rescued 
by the British steamer Orduna, and the Liverpool 
Shipwreck and Humane Society awarded medals and 
certificates of thanks to Captain Taylor of the Orduna 
and her chief and second officers. 
**Port Jackson." 

Port Jackson has always been considered one of 
the most beautiful iron ships ever built. She was 
designed by Mr. Alexander Duthie, and built by Hall 
under the supervision of the Duthie brothers; cost 
£29,000 to build or at the rate of £13 a ton; was 
unusually strong and in every way made as perfect as 
possible. She was one of the most sightly four-mast 
barques ever launched. Captain Crombie was her 
first commander, and under him she did some very fine 
performances, notably a run of 39 days from Sydney 
to San Francisco, when she was only three days behind 
the time of the mail steamer. Her best run in the 24 
hours was 345 miles. Unfortunately, when Captain 
Crombie left her, for some years no one attempted 
to bring out Port Jackson^s sailing qualities, and for 
two years before she was bought by Devitt & Moore 
for their cadet training scheme she lay idle in the 
Thames. After long years of cadet carrying Port 
Jackson fell a victim to the war, being torpedoed by a 
German submarine in the Channel in 1916. 

PASSAGES TO SYDNEY UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1882. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


Days Out 


Thomas Stephens - 
Port Jackson 


Channel 


Nov. 9 
Oct. 28 


Sydney 


Jan. 22, '83 
Jan. 13, '83 


74 
77 



324 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



PASSAGES TO MELBOURNE UNDER SO DAYS IN 1882. 









Crossed 


Passed 








Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 


Cape 


Cape 


Arrived 


Days 






Equator 


Meridian 


Otway 






Out 


Rodney - - 


Plymouth Oct. 15 


Nov. 7 


Nov. 29 


Dec. 22 


Dec. 


23 


69 


Ben Voirlich 


Lizard May 3 


May 28 


Juno 18 


July 11 


July 


12 


70 


Salamis 


Lizard Mar. 7 


Mar. 31 


April 24 




May 


17 


71 


MiUtades - - 


Lizard April 19 


May 15 


June 6 




July 


1 


73 


Aristides - - 


Start July 14 


Aug. 13 


Sept. 4 


Sept. 25 


Sept. 


25 


73 


Simla 


Penzance Sept. 3 








Nov. 


16 


74 


Marpesia - 


Tuskar July 9 


Aug. 11 


Aug. 30 




Sept. 


25 


78 


Thessalus - 


Channel May 10 








July 


28 


79 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1882. 

Port Jackson holds the record of being the first 
four-poster to go out to Sydney in under 80 days. Her 
best run was 345 miles in the 24 hours. The Rodney^ s 
best run was 312 miles, made the day before she sighted 
the Otway. 

Ben Voirlich averaged 300 miles a day from Gough 
Island to Kerguelen. 

Salamis crossed the Cape meridian the same day as 
the steamship Aberdeen^ and the steamer only managed 
to get inside the Heads on 14th May, a bare 70 hours 
ahead of the gallant little green clipper. 

The Simla was a fine Liverpool ship with a good 
reputation for speed. She registered 1260 tons and 
was built by Roy den in 1874. For a change there were 
no Lochs out to the Colonies in under 80 days this 
year, and Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn had sent their new 
four -masters to Calcutta. 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1883. 

The Maulesden, which figured in these tables in 
1877, was a 1500 -ton ship, built by Stephen, of Dundee, 
for David Bruce. She and her sister ship, the Duntrune, 
were very well known clippers with some very fine 



PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA IN 1883 S25 

records to their credit. But this passage of Maulesden^s 
to Maryborough, Queensland, made a record which has 
never been approached. It will be noticed that she 
crossed the line 17 days out, doubled the Cape 89 days 
out, and passed Tasmania 61 days out, a truly pheno- 
menal passage. Running the easting down, she made 
24-hour runs of 302, 303, 304, 311, 317, 322 and 335 
miles, whilst her best weeks were 1698, 1798, 1908 and 
1929 miles. From Maryborough she went across to 
Frisco, and from there to U.K., calling at Queenstown; 
and the whole voyage, including detention in port, 
was only 9 months 13 days. I have a photograph of 
her, and she is a typical iron clipper very like the Ben 
Voirlich, 



PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1883. 









Crossed 


Passed 








Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 
Equator 


Cape 
Meridian 


Otway or 
S.W.Cape 


Destination 


Date 
Arrived 


Days 
Out 


Maulesden 


Greenock Mar. 2 


Mar. 19 


April 10 


May 2 


Maryboro. 


May 10 


69 


Samuel PHmsoU 


Plymouth Apl. 6 


April 27 


May 19 


June 10 


Sydney 


June 17 


72 


Patriarch 


Start May 16 


June 6 


June 27 


July 24 


„ 


July 28 


73 


Salamis 


Dartm'th Feb.24 


Mar. 23 


April 23 


May 6 


i» 


May 9 


74 


Loch Torridon 


Tuskar Mar. 8 




April 29 




Melbourne 


May 21 


74 


Dharwar 


Plyra'thJtUy 15 


Aug. 7 


Sept. 1 


Sept. 26 


Sydney 


Sept. 30 


77 


CuUy Sark - 


ChannelJuly 24 








N'c'tleN.S.W. 


Oct. 10 


78 


Pericles 


Channel Sept. 27 








Sydney 


Dec. 14 


78 


Candida 


Ushant June 15 


July 10 


Aug. 3 


Aug. 27 


,, 


Sept. 1 


78 


MiUiades 


Start May 8 


June 24 


June 27 




Melbourne 


July 25 


78 


Mermerus 


Lizard April 29 


May 22 


June 22 


July 18 


„ 


July 17 


79 


1 Aristides 


Start May 28 


June 30 


July 26 


Aug. 14 


» 


Aug. 15 


79 



I have put all the passages together this year ; of the 
ships bound to Sydney, only the Candida rounded 
Tasmania p the skippers generally preferring the shorter 
route through Bass Straits. 

A notable return this year to the Australian trade is 
the wonderful little Cutty Sark, commanded by Captain 
Moore, this was her first passage to Newcastle, and 



826 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

I believe she was one of the first ships to load wool at 
Newcastle. In future we shall see her somewhere near 
the top of every table. 

The Samuel Plimsoll did well to the south 'ard again, 
averaging 278 miles for 13 consecutive days, her best 
day's work being 337 miles. 

The little Salamis made her second appearance in 
Port Jackson. She arrived on the same day as her 
compos i t e s ist er , Thermopy lae . Thermopy lae , however , 
had a terrible passage, the worst of her career, being 
actually 107 days from the Start. Held up by con- 
tinual gales, she did not cross the equator until her 
45th day out, 8th March, the day Salamis passed the 
Cape Verd. She crossed the Cape meridian on 7th 
April, six days before Salamis , and passed the Otway on 
5th May, only one day ahead of Salamis, so Salamis 
had been closing steadily on her the whole passage. 

Dharwar arrived with 414 emigrants, and had measles 
and fever on board so had to go into quarantine. 

The Candida hailed from Liverpool, a 1200-ton iron 
clipper. She brought out 35 passengers and a general 
cargo from London. 

MermeriLS had now made 12 consecutive passages to 
Melbourne, averaging 78 days. Her best runs this 
passage were 311 and 314 miles. 

Ben Cruachan and Ben Voirlich made passages of 85 
and 87 days respectively. Ben Cruachan certainly must 
have been severely handicaped by a foul bottom, as I find 
this was the third voyage since she had been docked I 

The •*Derwent." 

The Derwent was a very up-to-date ship, with 
numerous innovations. She was built to the speci- 
cation of Captain Andrew, her first commander, and 




DERWENT," off Gravesend. 




"MOUNT STEWARi 



Photo by Captain Schutze, Sydney. 



[To face page 327. 



DERWENT 



827 



he overlooked her construction with an eagle eye. 
Derwent was one of the first ships to cross steel topgallant 
yards, substitute rigging screws for deadeyes, to have a 
donkey with winch barrels, etc. 

She sailed on her first voyage on Xmas Eve, 1884, 
her crew consisting of captain, 3 certificated officers, 
8 midshipmen, 12 apprentices, bosun, sailmaker, 
carpenter, donkeyman and 12 hands in the fo'cs'le. 
The start was not very propitious. She sailed frorn 
Glasgow, dragged her anchors off the Tail of the Bank, 
and then her crew refused duty. The weather was so 
bad that she sought shelter at Queenstown, 11 days out 
from Greenock. Here advantage was taken to prosecute 
her insubordinate crew, who received sentences of from 
one to three months' imprisonment. 

The Derwent was never considered a fast ship, but 
a good sea boat and excellent cargo carrier ; nevertheless 
she made some very good runs, notably : — 

Sydney to Lizard . . . . . . 77 days. 

Sydney to Penzance . , . . 74 „ 

In 1904 Devitt & Moore sold her to the Norwegians, 
and she was still afloat when the war broke out, being 
owned in Larvik. 



PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1884. 









Crossed 








Ship 


Departure 


Crossed 


Meridian 


Passed 


Destination 


Date 


Days 






Equator 


Cape 


Otway 




Arrived 


Out 


Miltiades 


Ushant June 3 


June 28 


July 18 




Melbourne 


Aug. 13 


71 


Sobraon 


Plym'thSept 29 








„ 


Dec. 13 


75 


Loch Long 


Clyde June 1 








„ 


Aug. 15 


75 


Thessalus 


Downs Apl. U 








Sydney 


June 27 


77 


Windsor Castle 


Dartm'th Mar,26 








.. 


June 12 


78 1 


(D. Rose & Co.) 








1 




1 


Star of Italy - 


Gr'v's'nd Nov.27 








Melbourne 


reb.13,85 


78 1 


Cutti, Surk - 


Channpl June 18 








Newcastle 


Sept. 5 


79 ' 


CiKtha • 


Cliaiinel May 30 


June 23 July 18 




Sydney 


Aug. 17 


79 



328 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Notes on Passages to Australia in 1884. 

A good many ships this year were just into the 
80 days; for instance Dharwar, 80 davs to Sydney; 
Samuel Plimsolly 80 to Sydney; Trafalgar, 81 to 
Sydney ; Loch Vennachar, 80 to Melbourne ; Romanoff, 
80 to Melbourne ; Salamis, 82 to Melbourne ; Patriarch, 
82 to Sydney. 

Miltiades, Cimba and Loch Long had a good race out. 
The Star of Italy was Corrie's crack jute clipper; this 
was her tenth voyage, and her first trip to Melbourne. 
She was nearly lost when about to sail through a fire in 
her sail -room. 

Cutty Sark had a fine weather passage to the Cape, 
but she scared her crew running the easting down. On 
one occasion she was pooped by a big sea which jammed 
the helmsmen in the wheel, and she came up in the wind 
and swept her decks clean, taking the boats off the 
after skids, breaking in one side of the monkey poop and 
gutting the cabin. At the change of the watch at 
midnight that night, the apprentice keeping the time, 
in order to call his mates, had to go up the mizen rigging 
and come down the stay to get to the apprentices ' house 
her decks were so full of water ; for three or four days 
after this she ran like a scared hare before a moun- 
tainous sea, which rose up so high astern that it took 
the wind out of her topsails when she was in the trough. 

Captains Bully Martin and Douglas of the two Bens 
changed ships this year, and Douglas in the Ben 
Cruachan arrived Melbourne on 5th June, 90 days out, 
whilst Martin in the Ben Voirlich arrived Melbourne 
on 10th August, 88 days out. 
** Torridon " and ** Yallaroi." 

The last of Nicol's clippers were the Torridon and 
Yallaroi. They were skysail-yarders, and lying in 



TORRIDON AND YALLAROr 329 

dock alongside the modern four-poster, looked the real 
thmg, a pair of dainty little thoroughbreds. 

Compared to most ships of their size, they had narrow 
sail plans, and with greater carrying power, they were 
not as fast as Cimba or Romanoff. For some reason 
Nicol gave up the green and gold colours of Aberdeen 
and gave them the conventional painted ports. No 
doubt the days were passed when crowds of landsmen 
thronged Circular Quay of a Sunday and gaped in awe, 
reverence and admiration at the tall green clippers. 

Captain Shepherd left Romanoff to take the Torridon, 
but he could only manage to get her out to Sydney in 
90 days from Deal on her maiden trip, and Yallaroi took 
99 from Grangemouth. However, both ships held on 
in the Sydney trade until 1906, when they were sold to 
the Italians, Torridon for £4250 and Yallaroi for £4400. 

Torridon was sunk by a German submarine on 27th 
August, 1916, but Yallaroi disguised as Santa Catarina 
is still sailing the seas. 

**Loch Garron" and **Loch Broom." 

The last ships to be built for the famous Loch 
Line were the two fine four-mast barques Loch Carron 
and Loch Broom. 

The Loch Carron was taken from the stocks by Captain 
Stainton Clarke, one of the best known skippers in the 
Australian trade and the bosom friend of Captain 
Pattman, the pair being known in the ports they fre- 
quented as the **Corsican Brothers." Captain Clarke 
was brought up in those beautiful little tea clippers, 
Skinner's "Castles." At the age of 28 he became 
master of the Douglas Castle^ which he used to say was 
**one of the prettiest models that ever sailed. " When 
she was sold he was given the Lennox Castle, and he 
left her to take the Loch Carron, 



Melbourne to London 


. . 73 days. 


Adelaide to Glasgow 


.. 75 ,. 


Glasgow to Adelaide 


.. 78 ,. 


London to Adelaide 


.. 76 „ 


The Semaphore, Adelaide, to 




Cape Otway 


.. 48 „ 


Cape Town to Clyde in ballast 


.. 40 ,, 


Melbourne to the Horn 


..27 ,. 


Cape meridian to the Leeuwin 


.. 19 „ 


Cape Horn to the line 


.. 20 ,. 



330 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Loch CarroUy though a very fast ship, was also a 
ticklish ship to handle, being rather tender, and Captain 
Clarke always sent down royal yards when in port. 

The following are some of her best performances; — 



(twice) 



(twice) 

On one occasion when abreast of the Crozets, running 
her easting down in 45° S., she made three consecutive 
24-hour runs of 310, 320 and 332 miles. On her 
maiden trip she went to Sydney, and then for two or 
three years left the Australian for the Calcutta trade. 
In 1887 she took case oil from New York to Calcutta in 
112 days. 

In 1889 Loch Carron had a very nasty experience 
when rounding the Cape homeward bound from India. 
It is thus told by Captain Clarke : — 

We were bound for London from Calcutta with a cargo of jute and 
about 500 tons of rice for stiffening purposes. It was new rice and had 
not been properly dried. When the jute was loaded on top of it, the 
rice began to get heated and we had to take it out and stow it in the 
main hatch by itself, boring holes in order to allow the air to enter. 
This arrangement of the cargo caused the ship to be top-heavy, but it 
was unavoidable. When we got to the Cape of Good Hope we en- 
countered violent gales, and the vessel could not stand up to them. She 
was carried right over on her side, although there was very little canvas 
on her. Her lee side was 5 or 6 feet under water and the crew became 
so frightened that many of them climbed up the rigging. I let the sails 
go and sacrificed them in order to save her. She righted herself and we 
ran before the wind all night, going miles out of our course. Next day 
we jury- rigged her and I tried hard to make way on the other tack. 
We tacked for eight days and then the gale again seized her and she 



LOCH CARROT 881 

turned over once more. We quickly stripped her of sails, but she was 
so top-heavy and crank that I decided to send the topgallant masts 
down. This was ticklish work, and I shall never forget the scene, as the 
men struggled against the seas with the topgallants. The fight agamst 
the gales lasted for 30 days and then we got round the Cape, but I had 
five men down with broken limbs and other injuries. The voyage 
from Calcutta to London occupied no fewer than 156 days, and was the 
most exciting in my experience. The Bolan, Glen Padarn and Trevelyan, 
also bound from Calcutta and Rangoon to London, foundered during 
the storms and we were lucky to get through with the ship so crank. 

In 1904 Loch Carton had a great race home from Frisco 
round the Horn with the French ship Jules Gommes. 
Loch Carron hove up her anchor in Frisco Bay on the 
morning of Christmas Eve, the Jules Gommes leaving 
in the afternoon. After being six days in company the 
two ships lost sight of each other. They met again on 
the equator in the Atlantic; finally the Loch Carron 
arrived at Queenstown one morning 112 days out, the 
Frenchman arriving eight hours later at the same port. 

On her next passage the Loch Carron had the most 
disastrous event in her career, in her collision with the 
Inverkip, The two ships were both outward bound, 
the Loch Carron from Glasgow to Sydney with general 
cargo. At 11.20 on 13th August, 1904, the Loch Carron 
was about 60 miles to the S. and E. of the Fastnet light, 
going 6 or 7 knots close-hauled on the port tack, with a 
moderate gale blowing from the S.W., when the red 
light of the Inverkip was suddenly seen ahead. But it 
was too late to avoid a collision, and the Loch Carron 
struck the Inverkip abreast of the foremast, stem on. 
The latter ship went down in a few minutes, only two 
men, the carpenter and the steward, being saved out of 
her ship's company. These two managed to jump 
aboard the Loch Carron, Captain Jones of the Inverkip 
had his wife aboard, and as the ship went down she 
was seen praying on her knees aft. They were both 



882 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

great personal friends of Captain Clarke, and he was so 
distressed by the sad accident that his health broke 
down and he gave up his command for a voyage. The 
Loch CarroUf with a large hole in her bows, her fore 
topgallant mast and all head gear carried away, besides 
other damages, managed to make Queenstown. 

Her repairs came to £1500, and as she was on the port 
tack and the Inverkip on the starboard, the Loch Line 
had to pay over £30,000 damages. 

When Loch Carron was again ready for sea, Captain 
Henderson, of Thermopylae and Samuel Plimsoll fame, 
took her out. Captain Clarke returning to his command 
on her return home. As late as 1908 Loch Carron made 
the run from Melbourne to London in 80 days. 

Loch Broom was commanded for the greater part of 
her career by the well-known veteran. Bully Martin. 

Though they were absolute sister ships according to 
the tape-measure, Loch Broom was always a stiffer ship 
than the Loch Carron, and her sailing records were 
not quite as numerous, nevertheless she was a very 
fast ship. 

In 1904 Captain Martin brought her home from 
Melbourne in 82 days. He left Port Phillip on 12th 
January, and was only 24 days to the Horn, most of the 
run being made under six topsails and foresail. 

On her following passage out Loch Broom took case 
oil from New York to Melbourne in 96 days. It was 
a nasty trip for her officers, as the hands before the mast 
were all hobos. Bowery toughs and hard cases, and had 
to be driven to their work in the old-fashioned belaying 
pin style. 

In 1907 Captain Bully Martin gave up his command 
and retired from the sea, being succeeded by Captain 
Kelynack, who had been mate under him for some years. 



LOCH BROOM 833 

I have the abstract log of Loch Broom^s last voyage 
under the British flag : — 

On 4th September at 7 a.m. she took her departure 
from the Lizard, had light breezes and calms to the 19th 
when she took the N.E. trades, crossed the line on 6th 
October, crossed the meridian of Greenwich on 26th 
October, ran down her easting on the 40th parallel, her 
best 24-hour run being 272 miles on 12th November 
before a moderate gale from W.S.W. in 40° 37' S., 
60° 00' E. , and she anchored off Port Adelaide at 2 p.m. 
on 4th December, 91 days from the Lizard. 

She left Melbourne homeward bound on 23rd February 
1912. On 15th March in 50° 58' S., 135° 26' W., she ran 
278 miles with a fresh S.W. gale, passed Cape Horn on 
27th March. On 29th March Captain Kelynack remarks. 
** Fresh W.S.W. wind, thick misty rain, four-masted 
barque in company on lee quarter but falling astern* 
(nothing passes the Loch Broom but birds.)" 

And on 2nd April I find the following testimony to 
her qualities:— **Lat. 46° 50' S., long. 40° 04' W., 
distance 213, course N. 51° E. Fresh N.W. gale veering 
to W.N.W., high sea running, ship going 12 knots, dry 
as a bone." 

The line was crossed on 29th April. On 24th May 
in 46° N., 20° 55' W., Loch Broom ran 301 miles in the 
24 hours before a fresh southerly wind and moderate sea ; 
and on the following day 282 miles. ** Fresh S.S.E. 
wind. Barque in company at 6 a.m. on starboard bow, 
out of sight astern at noon. " On 31st May at 7 p.m. 
Loch Broom anchored off Gravesend, 98 days out. 

The Loch Carron and Loch Broom were both sold to 
the foreigners in 1912 for about £5000 a piece, and now, 
I believe, belong to Christianssand, Norway, being 
disguised under the names of Seileren and SongdaL 



834 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA UNDER 80 DAYS IN 1885. 











Crossed 











Ship 


Departure 


Passed 


Cape 


Passed 


Destination 


Date 


Days 








Equator 


Meridian 


Otway 




Arrived 


Out 


Salamu 


Start 


Mar. 20 


April 6 


May 9 


June 2 ! Melbourne 


June 3 


75 


Patriarch 


Start 


Mar. 9 


Mar. 25 




May 21 


Sydney 


May 23 


75 


Cutty Sark - 


Start 


April S 


April 23 


May 19 


June 15 
(SWCape) 


" 


June 19 


77 


Siren - - 


Start 


Mar. 23 


April 12 


May 11 


June 6 


„ 


June 8 


77 


Samuel Plimaoll 


Start 


April 4 


April 28 


May 21 


June 18 


»» 


June 21 


78 


Argonaut 


Start 


June 14 


July 10 


Aug. 1 


Aug. 27 




Aug. 31 


78 


Bay of Cadiz - 


Start 


Mar. 6 


Mar. 28 


April 20 


May 19 


>» 


May 23 


78 


Thermopylae • 


Start 


Jan. 20 


Feb. 17 


Mar. 9 


April 7 


Melbourne 


April 8 


78 


Harbing'r 


Lizard 


June 4 


June 30 


July 27 


Auff. 21 


„ 


Aug. 21 


78 


SirWdUer Raleigh 


Start 


AprU 4 


April 28 


May 22 


June 20 


Sydney 


June 22 


79 


Milton Park - 


Tuskar 


June 21 


July 18 


Aug. 12 


Sept. 5 


" 


Sept. 8 


79 



Notes on Passages to Australia in 1885. 

The race of the year was that between Cutty 
Sark, Samuel Plimsoll, Sir Walter Raleigh and still a 
fourth ship, the City of York, which was off the Start on 
2nd April — crossed the line 23rd April — crossed Cape 
meridian 26th May — passed the Otway on 18th June — 
and arrived Sydney on 21st June, 80 days out. 

It was Captain Woodget's first voyage in Cutty Sark, 
He went as high as 48° S. in search of good winds, but 
had a lot of thick misty weather with light northerly 
winds, and no steady westerlies. He only had two 
chances. In 70 hours from 21st to 23rd May, the 
Cutty ran 931 miles, braced sharp up against a strong 
N.E. to E.N. E. wind ; and on 4th June, with the wind 
fresh from N.E. to N.N.E. she ran 330 miles in 47° S., 
99° E. None of the other ships made any specially 
big runs. 

Miltiades this year was taken over by Captain Harry 
Ay ling, and arrived in Hobson's Bay on 29th October, 
85 days out from Torbay. 

Mermerus arrived Melbourne on 24th July, 88 days 




MOUNT STEWART." 



Plwto by Captain Schutze, Sydney. 




■• UKUMDALE. ' 



[To face page SZ5. 



PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA 1886-94 



335 



from the Lizard, and Thomas Stephens was 87 days from 
Antwerp to Sydney, arriving on 20th October. 

The Milton Park was an iron ship of 1500 tons, built 
by McMillan, of Dumbarton in 1882, a typical Clyde - 
built ship. The Bay of Cadiz was one of the Cardiff 
** Bays.'* Siren was one of Carmichael's, a 1482-ton 
ship, built in 1881. She had a number of fine passages 
to her credit, and came to a curious end, being rammed 
and sunk by H. M.S. Lawc^raiZoff Portland in July, 1896. 

We have now had 12 years of outward tables, and 
space and, no doubt, the patience of the reader are both 
growing exhausted. 

However, as these beautiful ships kept up their 
wonderful averages until well into the nineties, fighting 
all they knew against the ever-growing competition of 
steam, I give here a table of times from the Channel 
to port from the year 1886 to 1894 for the seven most 
regular ships in the trade. 

PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA 1886-1894. 



Ship 


DlstinatiOD 


1886 


1887 


1888 


1889 


1890 


1891 


1892 


1893 


1894 




Newcastle 




















Cutty Sark 


(1887 and 1892) 
Brisbane 1894 
Best to Sydney 


To 

Shang- 
hai 


88 
Dis- 
masted 


76 


77 


75 


79 


88 


81 


79 : 


Salamis - 


Melbourne 


78 


88 


70 


84 


86 


79 


77 


87 


80 j 


Patriarch 


Sydney 


87 


79 


79 


77 


87 


82 


80 


99 


77 " 


Mermerus 


Melbourne 


84 


90 


82 


88 


89 


85 


86 


85 




Miltiades 


Melbourne 


83 


78 


83 


82 


90 


91 


86 


92 




Cimba - 


Sydney 


97 


84 


88 


85 


89 


93 


83 


93 


88 1 


Samuel Plimsoll 


Sydney 1886 & 1887 
Rest to Melbourne 




93 


76 


81 


84 


78 


87 


79 


"1 



**Mount Stewart" and '*Gromdale," the 
last of the Wool Clippers. 

The last two ships to be built specially for the 
Australian wool trade were the magnificent steel skysail- 



336 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

yard ships Mount Stewart and Cromdale. The former 
was launched in May, 1891, and the latter in June, both 
from Barclay, Curie's yard. They were identical sister 
ships, and were the very latest development of the full- 
rig ship. They were of course good carriers, with the 
modern short poop and long sweep of main deck. Yet, 
in spite of their carrying powers, they both made some 
excellent passages out and home. 

The Cromdale was specially lucky in having Captain 
E. H. Andrew as her first master, a very experienced 
and up-to-date sailing ship captain, who had been mate 
under his father in the Derwent. 

The Cromdale came to grief in 1913 when commanded 
by Captain Arthur. She was 126 days out, bound home 
from Taltal with nitrate and was heading for Falmouth. 
There had been a dense fog for some days, when, most 
unfortunately, a steamer was passed which advised 
Captain Arthur to alter his course. Not long after a 
light was suddenly seen through the fog ahead, but before 
the ship could be put about she struck on the rocks 
right at the foot of a cliff. This proved to be Bass Point, 
close to the Lizard light. The ship was so badly holed 
that the captain ordered the boats out at once. Luckily 
it was calm weather, and some rockets brought the 
Cadgwith and Lizard lifeboats upon the scene, but the 
Cromdale settled down so quickly that there was only 
just time to save the ship's papers and the crew's 
personal belongings. Lying on the rocks in such an 
exposed position, it was of course hopeless to think 
of salving the ship, and the Cromdale became a 
total loss. 

The Mount Stewart is, I believe, still afloat, and still 
has Aberdeen on her stern. 



PERFORATED SAILS 837 

Perforated Sails. 

At first glance a sail with a hole in it would 
hardly be considered superior to a sail without one, yet 
sails with holes in them, or perforated sails, as they 
were called, became quite popular with the most ex- 
perienced of our sailing ship skippers in the early nineties- 
Perforated sails were said to be the idea of an Italian 
shipmaster in the eighties. This Italian captain's 
theory was that a cushion of air or dead wind, as he 
called it, was collected in the belly of every sail, and 
acted as a buffer, thus preventing the sail from receiving 
the whole strength of the wind. He advocated making 
a hole in the centre of the belly in order to allow this 
cushion of air to escape, and allow the true wind to 
blow against the surface of the sail. An important 
point was the proper placing of these holes ; in fore and 
aft sails they were cut about the centre of the belly made 
by the clew; the holes in square sails were also cut 
near the clews, but they were also cut higher up in the 
sail on a line from the clews to the bunt: topsails and 
courses generally had the four holes and topgallant sails 
and royals only two, one in the lower part of the sail 
towards the clew on each side. These holes were from 
5J to 6 inches in diameter and roped with grammets. 

It is easy to understand that this system was more 
advantageous when one was close-hauled than when 
running free. But even when running free many ship- 
masters claimed that it had its merits and held that, 
though wind certainly did escape through the holes, it 
was mostly dead wind and even then was caught up 
again — the mi2en by the main, and the main by the 
fore, so that in the end there was very little real wind 
that did not do its work in sending the ship along. 
A further advantage of perforated sails was their 



338 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

aid in spilling the wind out of a sail when the sail had 
to come in in heavy weather. The advocates of the 
holes claimed that they prevented a sail from ballooning 
up over the yard, and made it very much easier to 
muzzle and put the gaskets on. 

The perforated sails were also considered very useful 
in light airs and calms, because on the calmest day 
there always seemed to be a draught through the holes, 
and this kept the sails ** asleep " and stopped that 
irritating flogging of canvas against the masts which is 
so trying to a skipper's temper and also constantly 
necessitates the hauling up of courses in the doldrums. 

Captain Holmes, who always used them in the Cimha 
and Inverurie, wrote to me that he considered them 
specially valuable in light winds, and he did not adopt 
perforated sails without testing their efficiency in every 
way he could. 

He even had sand bags made to fit the holes, and thus 
was able to test his sailing when in company with 
another ship, first by seeing how he did with holes, and 
then filling up the holes with sandbags, by seeing how 
he altered his bearing when without holes. 

By this means he proved the benefit of the holes very 
clearly once when going down Channel. 

The Cimha was in company with another outward 
bound ship of nearly the same speed; and it was found 
that as soon as the sand bags were put in the holes 
the Cimha began to drop astern, whereas, with the holes 
open, she went ahead. Captain Holmes also tied a rag 
on the end of a stick, and held it up to the holes, and 
even in very light airs the rag was sucked through the 
perforations. In this way with a handkerchief on the 
end of a long rod, he tried to find out the result of the 
holes on the crossjack, by walking it all over the after 



HIKE'S CLIPPER BARQUES 889 

part of the sail. And he told me that the handkerchief 
flopped stupidly about in the dead wind until it was 
abreast of the holes, when it at once blew out straight. 

Captain Pattman, of Loch Torridoriy adopted per- 
forated holes in 1892 : Captain Poppy used them on the 
Ar is tides, and Captain Cutler, when he took over Port 
Jackson, had her sails cut for holes, and his successor 
continued to keep them in the sails. 

All these four captains Were noted passage -makers, 
and unless the perforated sails had had very certain 
advantages, it is hardly likely that they would have 
adopted them. 

Hine's Clipper Barques. 

Before turning to the New Zealand trade I must 
not forget to mention the fine little fleet of barques 
belonging to Hine Brothers, of Maryport, which brought 
home wool from Adelaide, Brisbane and the two 
Tasmanian ports. 

The following will still be remembered by the older 
inhabitants of these ports. 

Aline, wood barque 474 tons, built by Hardy, Sunderland 1867 



Abbey Holme, iron 


, 516 ., 


,, 


Blumer, Sunderland 1869 


Hazel Holme wood 


405 „ 


„ 


at Barnstaple 1890 


Aikshaw iron , 


573 „ 


tt 


Doxford, Sunderland 1875 


Eden Holme ,, 


, 794 ., 


t» 


Bartram „ „ 


Myrtle Holme „ 


, 902 ,. 


n 


>> t> «> 


Castle Holme „ 


, 996 „ 


„ 


>> (t >> 


Brier Holme ,, 


. 894 „ 


»» 


Thompson „ 1876 



They were rarely much over 80 days going out, and 
generally under 90 days coming home. 

The Myrtle Holme, under Captain Cobb, and the 
Eden Holme, under Captain Wyrill (late of Berean) had 
perhaps the best records, and maintained their fine 
average right into the twentieth century. 



840 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

For instance, in 1899 Captain Wyrill brought the 
Eden Holme from Launceston to the London River in 
88 days after experiencing 17 days of calms and variables 
to the north of the line. This was her fourth passage 
out of six, in which she had come home in less than 
90 days from Tasmania. 

In 1895, the Myrtle Holme went from Beachy Head 
to Adelaide in 77 days, and in 1901 went from Dover 
to Adelaide in 81 days; whilst in 1902 the Eden Holme 
went from the Start to Launceston in 83 days. 

The Eden Holme, Brier Holme and Castle Holme 
were all transferred to the Tasmanian trade from that 
of Adelaide on the death of Mr. Walker and the dis- 
persal of his fleet. 

The Eden Holme was wrecked on Hebe Reef in 1907. 
The Myrtle Holme was sold to Arendal, Norway, and 
renamed Glimt, a few years before the war. She was 
torpedoed in the North Sea in 1915. 

The Brier Holme came to a tragic end in 1904. She 
sailed from London for Hobart in September of that 
year, commanded by Captain Rich, an experienced 
and skilful seaman who was making his last voyage. 
She was three months overdue and much anxiety was 
being felt, when some fishermen landed on a bleak and 
unfrequented part of the West Coast of Tasmania. 
They found some jetsom on the shore in the shape of 
packages of cargo, marked and numbered so that they 
could be identified. Footprints and the remains of 
a rude hut also pointed to a wreck on the coast; a 
close search was made but no signs of the wreck or of 
life could be found. The fishermen then took the 
packages back to Hobart and they proved to be part of 
the cargo of the Brier Holme. Thereupon the Govern - 
men.t sent out a steamer with a search party. The 



\ 




" BRIERHOLME. 



Photo by De Maus, Port Chalmers. 



[To face page 340. 



BRIER HOLME 841 

remains of the wreck were found under water, but 
though the bush was scoured, fires lighted and guns 
fired to attract attention, no survivor was discovered, 
and the search party returned to Hobart. Some 
weeks later the fishermen who had found the packages 
landed again on the coast and found a man, who proved 
to be the sole survivor out of the Brier Holme^s crew. 
He had been wandering about in the bush trying to find 
his way to the nearest habitation, first loading himself 
with provisions washed up from the wreck, he had tried 
to construct a raft across a river but without success, and 
he was continually compelled to return to the shore and 
replenish his stores. He reported that the Brier 
Holme arrived off the S.W. Cape of Tasmania at night 
during thick stormy weather and was hove to to wait 
for daylight. But being to the north of the Fairway 
having overrun her distance, she crashed on to the rocks 
and soon went to pieces. 

The Castle Holme is now owned in Frederickstadt, 
Norway, and sails under the name of Estar. 

Iron Barques of Walker and Trinder, Anderson. 

Hine Bros, were not the only owners of iron 
clipper barques in the Australian trade. Mr. T. B. 
Walker had four very well-known ships — the barques 
Westbury, Decapolis and Lanoma and the ship Barossa; 
wjiilst Trinder, Anderson & Co. had the Barunga^ 
Oriana, Mineru, Morialta and Kooringa. 

Of the above, Walker's Lanoma was probably the 
fastest. She has been credited with a run from Tas- 
mania to the Horn in 21 days, another of 21 days from the 
Horn to the line, and again a third of 21 days from the 
line to soundings, which if they had all been on the 
same passage would have^ given her the record from 



842 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Tasmania home. The Westbury and Decapolis were 
both good for an outward passage round about 80 days. 

A year or two ago a correspondent in the * * Nautical ' * 
claimed that the Decapolis went out to Launceston in 
56 days on her maiden trip, at the same time he claimed 
a 57 -day trip to Melbourne for my old ship the Common- 
wealth, He had, of course, got his dates wrong 
somewhere, as the Decapolis ran regularly to Brisbane 
until that trade was captured by steamers, she was 
then diverted to Launceston. 

After the death of Mr. Walker, Decapolis was sold to 
the Italians and renamed Nostra Madre. Her name 
is on the Sailing Ship Roll of Honour, as she was tor- 
pedoed in the Mediterranean during the war. 

Barossa, a fine little full -rigged ship, ran for many 
years as a passenger ship to Adelaide. She eventually 
turned turtle in dock and was sold to be broken up. 

The Loss of ••Lanoma." 

Lanoma was lost in March, 1888, on what promised 
to be her best passage home. She was coming up 
Channel, only 76 days out, in thick, blowing south- 
westerly weather, under a very experienced commander, 
Captain G. Whittingham. 

Berean was also coming up Channel, it was the time 
when she had the narrow squeak of piling up on the 
Wight owing to the wrong notice about St. Catherine's 
light. 

In the case of Lanoma, Captain Whittingham had 
had no observations for several days, and so an extra 
smart look-out was being kept. Just before midnight 
it must have cleared a bit for the land suddenly loomed 
up close to on the starboard bow. The helm was at 
once put down and the shin brought to the wind, and 



LANOMA 843 

Captain Whittingham tried to stay her. Unfortun- 
ately she missed stays and fell off again, there was no 
time to wear her, and she stranded broadside on to 
Chesil Beach, inside the Bill of Portland. 

Like many another catastrophe of the same sort, the 
ship and her crew were hurtled from fancied security 
to destruction in a few minutes of time. And even so, 
the crew would probably have all been saved, if she 
had not fallen over to seaward, so that she at once began 
to break up in the heavy surf. The rocket apparatus 
was manned from the shore, but it was only in time to 
save a few, and Captain Whittingham and 11 of his 
crew were drowned. 

Trinder, Anderson's ships were all well known in the 
London River at one time, specially the little Mineru, a 
478-ton barque, built by Stephen, of Glasgow, in 1866. 
Fremantle, the Ashburton River and Sharks Bay 
were her wool ports. 

Morialta was an iron ship of 1267 tons, built in 1866 
by Royden, of Liverpool, for Beazley, her first name 
being British Consul. Barunga was the old Apelles 
built in 1863, whilst fi^oorm^a, a 1175-ton barque, built 
at South Shields in 1874, had been the Ravenstondale. 

Messrs. Trinder, Anderson bought several other 
well-known ships in their time, notably the Kingdom 
of Saxony y a 538 -ton wooden barque, ex-Deerhound, 
Anderson's Darra, and Thompson's Ascalon also ended 
their days under the Red Ensign with Trinder, Anderson. 

It is a curious coincidence, but in looking through the 
list of their ships I cannot find two by the same builder, 
though I find the following all represented : Dudgeon, 
of London; Moore, of Sunderland ; Denton & Gray, of 
Hartlepool; Scott, of Greenock; Hall, of Aberdeen; 
Stephen, of Glasgow; Royden, of Liverpool; Hood, of 



844 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Aberdeen ; Softley, of South Shields; and R. Thompson, 
Jun. , of Sunderland. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century, just before 
going into steam, Trinder, Anderson & Co. bought the 
fine ships Wasdale and Hornby Castle, but the century 
was not ten years old before steamers only were flying 
the blue with yellow cross and black swan, as the 
house-flag of the combined firm of Trinder, Anderson 
and Bethell, Gwyn. 

Occasional Visitors in Australian Waters. 

Though this part has run to greater length than 
I had at first intended, nevertheless I fear that many of 
my readers will complain because old favourites have 
not been mentioned. 

I have tried not to leave out any regular Colonial 
trader, and space only admits of the bare mention of 
many beautiful and fast ships which occasionally 
visited Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide in the course of 
their general round. 

Of these perhaps the finest were: — Carmichael's 
Golden Fleece, one of the handsomest ships ever 
launched, with a run from London to Sydney of 72 days 
to her credit* 

Williamson & Milligan's Cedric the Saxon, whose 
72 -day run from Liverpool to Calcutta is the iron ship 
record. This magnificent clipper once went from 
Calcutta to the Adelaide Semaphore in 28 days during 
the S.W. monsoon. 

D. Bruce 's Dundee clippers Maulesden a,nd Duntrune; 
the first famous for her wonderful passage of 69 days from 
Glasgow to Maryborough, Queensland, in 1882. 

The beautiful Belfast ship Star of Italy, one of Corry 's 



OCCASIONAL VISITORS 845 

Irish ** Stars," which in 1884-5 went out to Sydney 
in 78 days and came home in 79. 

Beazley's British Merchant, which in 1881 arrived in 
Melbourne, 78 days out. 

The Sierra Blanca, one of those yacht-like white 
*• Sierras," which in 1883-4 went out to Sydney in 
77 days. 

Carmichael's Argus and Argo, the former with a 
76-day run to Melbourne and the latter with a 78-day 
run to Sydney. 

Cuthbert's Ballochmyle, Skinner's Brodick Castle, 
Beazley's John o' Gaunt, Patton's Hesperides, Alex- 
ander's Glengarry, Bowring's Othello and Desdemona, 
and my old ship the Commonwealth, 

Then coming to the later days of the four-poster, 
there were McMillan's Swanhilda, which in 1894 made 
the wonderful run of 66 days from Wallaroo to Queens - 
town ; Mahon's Oweenee, which as late as 1913 made 
the run from Dublin to Newcastle, N.S.W., in 73 days ; 
Troop's Howard D, Troop, which in 1906 brought 3500 
tons of wheat from Sydney to Falmouth in 82 days ; 
that extraordinary four -mast ship, the Lancing, which 
in 1908 ran from Christiania to Melbourne in 75 
days; Mackay's Wendur, the rival of Loch Torridon; 
the beautiful skysail yarder Queen Margaret; Car- 
michael's Glaucus; and the Lord Brassey, which went 
missing on her first voyage, after having made a fine 
outward passage of 77 days to Melbourne in 1892. 



PART rv.— THE NEW ZEALAND TRADE. 

The age of dear tradition has gone by 

And steam has killed romance upon the sea, 

The newer age requires the newer men, 

And dying hard in corners of the world, 

The old hands pass forgotten to their graves. 

The old Colonial clipper is no more, 

Denied the wool freights homeward, she must seek 

For nitre on the South Pacific slope, 

She need not go to China ports for tea, 

She need not haunt the Hooghly for the jute, 

Nor beat the Gulf of Martaban for rice, 

Her time has come and she must pass away; 

Yet still she holds the passage of the Horn, 

And when the waterway of Panama 

Makes islands of the two Americas, 

She'll hold the bleak old headland for her own, 

And round its pitch she'll fade away and die. — 

John Anderson, in Nautical Magazine. 

The *• Mayflowers" of New Zealand. 

THE Mayflower is a name which every school -child 
in the United States is taught to reverence. In 
this part of Colonial Clippers I shall deal with the 
Mayflowers of New Zealand — the beautiful sailing ships 
which brought the settlers from the Old Country to the 
wonderful New Country. 

The memory of these ships and their swift passages 
round the Cape and through the roaring forties is still 
green in the hearts of many a man and woman who 
travelled out to an unknown land with a stout heart 
and nothing much else, and is now a prosperous and 

happy member of a great nation. Only lately there 

346 



CHARIOT OF FAME 547 

was a reunion of all those who had travelled out in 
one of these ships, that the anniversary of their great 
adventure might be suitably kept. The name of 
this ship has already been mentioned in these pages, 
The Chariot of Fame; a name of comfort and good 
omen it must have been to those who heard the whistle 
and scream of the mighty westerlies in her rigging on 
many a dark and sobbing night when the heart of the 
exile is low and the spirit of the brave pioneer begins 
to quiver. 

Truly running down the easting in a little 1000-ton 
clipper with a hard driving skipper and big fisted, 
stony-hearted mates was a fine bracer for the emigrant, 
who had perhaps never seen salt water up to the date 
of sailing and who was bound to a country which could 
only be wooed and won by a clear brain, stout heart 
and strong arm. 

At first the ships in the New Zealand trade were not 
even 1000 tons in burthen, being mainly little 400 and 
500 -ton ships and barques, which mostly flew the flag 
of Shaw, Savill & Co. 

The '* Edwin Fox." 

Of such was the Edwin Fox, a country -built 
Indiaman from Calcutta, built as far back as 1853, 
with teak decks, quarter galleries, coir running gear 
and all the quaint characteristics of the East. The 
hull of this ** old timer " is still to be seen, being 
now used as a landing stage for the freezing works 
at Picton. 

••Wild Duck." 

Another favourite passenger ship in the early 
days was the Wild Duck, commanded by Captain 



348 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



Bishop. She was a main skysail yarder with Cunning- 
ham's patent reef single topsails. Though rather short 
for her beam she had fine ends and made very regular 
passages. 

Shaw, Savill & Go. 

The well-known firm of Shaw, Savill & Co. 
started sending ships to New Zealand about 65 years 
ago, making 15 sailings a year. At first the outward 
passage took four or five months, and it was not until 
the sixties that there was any marked improvement in 
the time between England and New Zealand, but by the 
end of the sixties Shaw, Savill had several fast little 
iron ships, the best known of which were the Crusader, 
Helen Denny and Margaret Galbraith. 

The following is a rather incomplete list of their earlier 
ships ; — 

wood barque . . 836 tons, 

iron barque . . 768 ,, 

wood barque . . 1003 ,, 

iron barque . . 815 „ 

iron barque . . 924 „ 

wood ship .. 1332 „ 

wood barque . . 470 „ 

iron ship . . 1197 „ 

iron barque .. 1008 , 

iron ship . . 1042 ., 

wood ship . . 1418 „ 

iron ship . . 1304 „ 

iron ship . . 1054 „ 

iron barque . . 764 „ 

composite barque 468 ,, 

iron ship . . 1059 „ 

'iron barque . . 728 „ 

composite ship 1238 „ 

iron ship . . 841 „ 

composite barque 598 „ 

iron barque . . 705 „ 

iron ship . . 746 „ 



1853 


Edwin Fox 


1856 


Chile 


1858 


Dover Castle 


1858 


Adamant .. 


1859 


Bebington . . 


1862 


Bulwark . . 


1863 


Chaudiere . . 


,, 


Euterpe 


»' 


Himalaya . . 


»» 


Trevelyan .. 


1864 


Golden Sea 


., 


Soukar 


„ 


Saint Leonards 


,, 


Glenlora . . 


1865 


Anazi 




Crusader . . 


1866 


Helen Denny 


1867 


Forfarshire 


1868 


Margaret Galbraith 


1869 


Elizabeth Graham 


»i 


Hudson 


•< 


Langstone ., 



1869 





CRUSADER 




Pleiades . . 


. . iron sbip 


. 997 


Schiehallion 


, , iron barque 


. 602 


Zealandia . . 


. . iron ship 


. 1116 


Halcione . . 


. . iron ship 


.. 843 


Metope 


. . iron ship 


. 1064 



849 



1870 

Space forbids more than a few odd notes on the best 
known of these ships. 

The ** Crusader. *• 

The Crusader was a very handsome little ship, as 
is well shown in her photograph, and she was considered 
by many to be the fastest ship in Shaw, Savill's fleet. 
She was built by Connell, of Glasgow, and launched in 
March, 1865, her registered measurements being: — 
Net tonnage 1058 ; gross tonnage 1058 ; length 210.7 ft. ; 
breadth 35.1 ft., depth 21.4 ft. 

In 1877, when commanded by Captain Renaut, she 
ran from Ljrttelton, N.Z., to the Lizard in 69 days, 
and on her next outward passage in 1878 she went from 
London to Port Chalmers in 65 days, a performance 
which has never been beaten. She was eventually sold 
to the Norwegians for £2950 and was still washing about 
the seas, rigged as a barque, at the outbreak of the 
Great War. 

•*Helen Denny" and ''Margaret Galbraith." 

The little Helen Denny was the last of the fleet to 
remain under the British flag. She once ran from the 
longitude of the Cape to New Zealand in 23 days, a 
really remarkable feat for a small iron barque. She 
was built by the great Robert Duncan, of Port Glasgow, 
and was eventually sold by Shaw, Savill, to Christie, 
of Lyttelton, N.Z., who resold her to Captain F. Holm, 
of Wellington, N.Z. ; she ran regularly in the inter- 
colonial trade until the end of 1913, being latterly 
commanded and owned by Captain S. Holm, a son of 



850 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Captain F. Holm. She was finally converted into a 
coal hulk. 

Margaret Galbraith was another little Duncan beauty, 
and for many years a regular passenger ship to Otago. 
It is surprising to think of these little ships carrying 
passengers right up to the eighties. Their measurements 
were : — 

Helen Denny, 728 tons; 187.5 feet length; 31.2 feet beam; 19.1 feet 
depth. 

Margaret Galbraith, 841 tons; 198.5 feet length; 32.2 feet beam; 19.9 
feet depth. 

The Margaret Galbraith was sold to the Manica 
Trading Co., of London. She left Colonia on 26th 
March, 1905, for Buenos Ay res with a cargo of grain 
and crew of 13 all told ; and whilst in charge of a pilot 
grounded on Farollon reef, and as she was badly holed 
her captain abandoned her. 

End of Some of Shaw, Savill's Earlier Ships. 

Zealandia was a Connell built ship. After being 
sold to the Swedes, she was resold to the Russians, and 
her name changed to Kaleva, She was stranded in 
March, 1911, but refloated and again sold to Charles 
Brister & Son, of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Pleiades was built by McMillan, of Dumbarton. As 
late as 1893 she made a good run from New Zealand to 
the Lizard. She was wrecked at Akiteo, when bound 
round in ballast from Napier to Dunedin to load wool 
home. 

The Halcione was specially built for the New Zealand 
trade with J iron plates backed with 3 feet of cement, 
her saloon was insulated with charcoal, and she had 
200 tons of cement stiffening. She was built by Steele, 
of Greenock, and was lost in 1895 in Fitzroy Bay near 
Pincarrow Heads, outside Wellington. 



SHAW, SAVILL'S SHIPS 851 

The Euterpe was sold to the Chileans, and for 
some years was to be seen in the South Pacific rigged as 
a barque. Then the Alaska Packers bought her and 
renamed her Star of India. I believe she is still afloat. 

The Himalaya was also sold to the Alaska Packers Co., 
and renamed Star of Peru, 

The Soukar was sold to the Spaniards and registered 
at Barcelona under the name of Humberto. She has 
been broken up. 

The Glenlora went to the Scandinavians and was still 
afloat at the outbreak of the Great War. The Hudson 
is also a Scandinavian barque at the present time. 

The Merope was burnt whilst homeward bound, being 
off the Plate at the time. Another well-known early 
Shaw, Savill emigrant ship to be burnt at sea was the 
Caribou, of 1160 tons; she was a wood ship and her 
cargo of coal caught fire in the year 1869. The Shaw, 
Savill ships were rather unlucky with fires and collisions, 
their worst disaster being, of course, the loss of the 
Cospatrick, Dunbar's old frigate-built ship, which they 
bought in 1873 for £10,000. The tragedy happened on 
her second voyage under Shaw, Savill's house-flag. 

The Loss of the ** Cospatrick." 

The Cospatrick sailed from London for Auckland 
on the 11th September, 1874, with general cargo, 429 
passengers and a crew of 44 men under Captain Elmslie. 
Tuesday, 17th November, found the ship to the 
south 'ard of the Cape, the wind being very light from the 
nor 'west. And here is the tragedy as it was given by 
Henry Macdonald, the second mate, one of the three 
survivors. He stated that after keeping the first 
watch, he had not been long below when he was aroused 



852 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

by the cry of '* Fire !" Without stopping to dress, he 
rushed on deck and found that dense clouds of smoke 
were pouring up from the fore peak, a fire having broken 
out in the bosun's locker, which was full of oakum, rope, 
varnish and paint. 

The first thing to do was to get the ship's head before 
the wind, at the same time the fire engine was rigged, 
and soon the fore part of the ship was being deluged 
with water. But somehow or other the ship was allowed 
to come head to wind, which drove the smoke aft in 
suffocating clouds. From this moment all discipline 
seems to have been lost; flames began to burst 
forth in the 'tween decks and out through every scuttle 
and air vent, and they were soon roaring up the tarred 
shrouds, so that within an hour and a half of the dis- 
covery of the fire the flames had got such a hold that 
the ship was doomed. 

The emigrants now took panic, and, shouting and 
screaming, made a rush for the boats. The starboard 
quarter boat was lowered down, but immediately she 
touched the water such a crowd of demented emigrants 
swarmed down the ship's side into her that she was 
capsized. Whilst the longboat was being swung out 
of her chocks, her bow caught fire, and in the end only 
the port and starboard lifeboats got safely away from 
the ship's side, the one with 42 and the other with 39 
people. 

The two boats stayed by the ship until the afternoon 
of the 19th, when she sank beneath the waves, a black- 
ened, charred and smoking hull. One can scarcely 
imagine the horror of the scene during this weary waiting 
for the end of the ship. The people in the boats 
watched the main and mizen mast fall, and heard 
shrieks from the crowded after part of the ship, as many 




CRUSADER. 



COSPATRICK 



li^feA 




Photo by L'e Maun. 



[TofacevageSb2. 



LOSS OF COS PAT RICK 353 

luckless wretches were crushed in their fall. Then the 
stern with its old Blackwall quarter galleries was 
blown out by the flames and smoke. Lastly the captain 
was seen to throw his wife overboard and spring after 
her himself. 

But the tragedy was far from finished with the sinking 
of the ship. Owing to the panic and confusion the 81 
survivors in the boats had only their night clothes and 
were without food or water, mast or sail, and the 
starboard lifeboat of which the second mate took com- 
mand had only one oar. The rest of the horrible story 
is best told in Henry Macdonald 's own words, and the 
following is his statement, given at the inquiry after- 
wards : — 

The two boats kept company the 20th and 21st, when it commenced 
to blow, and we got separated during the night. I whistled and shouted, 
but when daylight came we could see nothing of the other boat. Thirst 
began to tell severely on all of us. A man named Bentley fell overboard 
while steering the boat and was drowned. Three men became mad 
that day and died. We then threw the bodies overboard. On the 23rd, 
the wind was blowing hard and a high sea running. We were continually 
bailing the water out. We rigged a sea anchor and rode to it; but it 
was only made fast to the end of the boat's painter, and we lost it. Four 
men died, and we were so hungry and thirsty that we drank the blood 
and ate the livers of two of them. We lost our only oar then. On the 
24th, there was a strong gale, and we rigged another sea anchor, making 
it fast with anything we could get. There were six more deaths that 
day. She shipped water till she was nearly full. On the 2oth there was 
a light breeze and it was awful hot. We were reduced that day to eight, 
and three of them out of their minds. We all felt very bad that day. Early 
on the morning of the 26th, not being daylight, a boat passed close to us 
running. We haned but got no answer. She was not more than 50 
yards off. She was a foreigner. I think she must have heard us. One 
more died that day. We kept on sucking the blood of those who died. 
The 27th was squally all round, but we never caught a drop of water, 
although we tried to do it. Two more died that day. We threw one 
overboard, but were too weak to lift the other. 

There were then five left — two able seamen, one ordinary, myself and 
one passenger. The passenger was out of his mind. All had drunk 
sea water. We were all dozing, when the madman bit my foot, and I 



354 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

woke up. We then saw a ship bearing down upon us. She proved to 
be the British Sceptre, from Calcutta to Dundee. We were taken on 
board and treated very kindly. I got very bad on board of her. I 
was very nigh at death's door. We were not recovered when we got 
to St. Helena. 

So ends the second mate's statement. The passenger 
and ordinary seaman both died a day or two after they 
were rescued, thus, out of 473 souls on the Cospatrick, 
only three men were saved, the second mate and the 
two able seamen. 

The Loss of the ** Avalanche." 

The Avalmiche was another Shaw, Savill ship 
which took down all but three of its company. She 
was outward bound to Wellington with 60 passengers, 
under Captain Williams, in September, 1877. At 8.45 
p.m. when off Portland, she was on the port tack, the 
wind blowing strong from the S.W., when a red light 
was sighted on the starboard bow. The officer of the 
watch gave the order *' hard up " and " brail in the 
spanker," but the other ship, which was evidently 
running up Channel, came straight on, and as the 
Avalanche fell off struck her right amidships on the 
port side. Three of the crew of the Avalanche managed 
to clamber aboard the other ship, which was the Forest 
of Windsor, Nova Scotia, and these three, the third mate 
named Sherrington and two A.B.'s, were the only ones 
saved. The Forest also sank, but managed to launch 
four boats in safety. These were picked up by fishermen 
the following morning and landed at Portland. 

Patrick Henderson's Albion Shipping Company. 

The chief rival of the Shaw, Savill before the 
advent of the New Zealand Shipping Company was 
Patrick Henderson, who owned the Albion Shipping 




WILD DEER, 



Photo by De Maus, Port Chalmers. 




" WILD DEER." 



Lent by Captain T. S. Angtis. 



[To face page 355. 



WILD DEER 855 

Company. But in the early days he was also in the 
China and Rangoon trades. His first ships in the 
New Zealand emigrant trade were fine, comfortable 
wooden vessels without any special turn of speed, such 
as the Agnes Miiir, Pladda, Lady Douglass, Jane 
Henderson f Vicksburgh and Helenslee. But he had some 
very fast wood and composite clippers, which during the 
sixties were mostly in the Shanghai trade, and later 
took their turn at carrying emigrants to New Zealand. 

The **Wild Deer.'' 

The fastest of these China ships was the Wild 
Deer. She was launched from Connell's yard in 
December, 1863, being his thirteenth ship; and was 
composite built with iron topsides, teak planking to 
turn of bilge and elm bottom. She had a beautiful 
figure-head of the goddess ** Diana," and was alto- 
gether a fine example of an out and out tea clipper. 
Her measurements taken from Lloyd's Register were 

as follows : — 

Tonnage net . . . . 1016 tons 

Tonnage under deck . . 965 ,, 

Length .. .. 211 feet. 

Breadth .. .. 33.2 „ 

Depth .. .. 20.7 „ 

Her poop was 42 feet long, and her foc's'le-head 31 feet. 
She came out in 1863 with Cunningham's patent single 
topsails, but owing to her dismasting was one of the 
earliest ships to send aloft double topsail yards. 

The following are the original spar measurements of 
her mainmast: — 



Mainmast — deck to truck 130.6 feet 


Royal mast 


. 17 feet 


Lower mcst— deck to cap 64 „ 


Mainyard . . 


. 75 ,. 


Doubling L3.6 ., 


Topsail yard 


• 61 .. 


Topmast 46 „ 


Topgallant yard . 


46 „ 


Doubling 8 ,, 


Royal yard i 


. 34 ., 


Topgallant mast . . 25 „ 







35b THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Wild Deer was taken from the stocks by Captain 
George Cobb, a well-known racing skipper in the China 
tea trade who had previously commanded the Robin 
Hood. Her complement consisted of 3 mates, 3 appren- 
tices, carpenter, sailmaker and bosun, 16 A.B.*s and 
3 ordinary seamen, it being intended to ship 4 more 
A.B. 's in China in the event of her getting into the race 
home with the cracks. 

On her maiden passage she lost her foremast in the 
North Atlantic, owing to the want of angle irons, as 
Titania did a few years later, and this lost Wild Beer 
her chance of loading the first teas of the season. S?he 
had to put into Lisbon to refit, and came out of the 
Tagus with a very mixed sail plan; on the foremast she 
had an old-fashioned single topsail with three rows of 
reef points, on the main double topsails and on the 
mizen her original Cunningham's patent single topsail. 

Her first two tea passages from Shanghai were good 
average runs, but nothing remarkable, her best work 
being 72 days from Anjer in 1865. 

In 1866 she left London on 16th April and arrived 
at Shanghai on 29th July, 104 days out. Again she did 
not succeed in getting away with the first ships, but 
leaving Shanghai on 10th September she made Portland 
on Christmas Day. A fine S.S.W. breeze was blowing 
and Wild Beer was romping along under all plain sail 
and starboard fore topmast stunsail, when the American 
schooner yacht, Henrietta, the winner of the first ocean 
yacht race, hauled out from the land and, closing on the 
clipper, hoisted her colours and asked her name. The 
late Gordon Bennett, her owner, was on board the yacht, 
and evidently wished to try her paces against the tea 
ship, as the Henrietta held on in company with Wild 
Deer for an hour or two, then bore away for the Needles. 



WILD DEER 357 

On this passage whilst crossing the Indian Ocean in 
the S.E. trades, Wild Deer made three consecutive 
24-hour runs of 312, 312 and 327 miles. 

On the outward passage in 1867, Captain Cobb had to 
be landed ill at Anjer and died shortly afterwards. 
His place was taken by a Hollander skipper. The 
Dutchman took Wild Deer on to Shanghai and loaded 
tea, then leaving Shanghai in August he took the 
Eastern Passage, but when he had cleared Dampier 
Straits took it into his head to alter his course for Anjer. 
This absolutely spoilt Wild Deer^s chance of a quick 
passage, as she had to thread her way up the Java Sea 
through a succession of light airs and calms, and 
actually took 84 days to Anjer. 

This was a great pity for she made a splendid run 
home from the Straits of Sunda, arriving in the Thames in 
January, only 68 days from Anjer , but 152 from Shanghai. 

In 1868 her wings were cut, 3 feet being taken off her 
lower masts. 

She was then handed over to a Captain Smith; 
unfortunately Smith was a regular old woman, but she 
was fortunate in getting Duncan as mate. This man 
had served in Ariel and Titania as chief officer, and was 
one of the best mates in the China trade, being specially 
noted for his skilful handling of sails in bad weather. 

Wild Deer got away from London at the end of March, 
and left Shanghai with a tea cargo towards the end of 
July, a week behind one of Skinner's beautiful little 
ships, the Douglas Castle, In spite of Duncan's re- 
monstrances, Captain Smith, who was frightened of the 
Caspar Straits, determined to go east about; but the 
Wild Deer had so good a start south through the Formosa 
Channel that old Smith plucked up his courage and held 
on for Caspar. 



358 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The very first day after he had changed his mind, 
Wild Deer ran into the S.W. monsoon and had to be 
braced sharp up. The following morning about day- 
break a ship crossed her bows on the other tack. This 
proved to be the Douglas Castle, and the two ships were 
in company all the way to Caspar, except whilst passing 
Tamberlan Islands, which Wild Deer went east of, and 
the Douglas west. 

The ships were evidently very well matched in light 
winds, but the Wild Deer was handicapped by the want 
of courage in her skipper. The night before the Straits 
were made it was clear moonlight, the sea dead smooth 
and there was a nice little breeze blowing; both ships 
were close-hauled on the port tack, with Wild Deer 
about a quarter of a mile to windward, neither ship 
gaining an inch. 

Then at the change of the watch at midnight, old 
Smith backed his mainyard, clewed up his light sails 
and waited for morning, but young Captain McRitchie 
of the Douglas Castle, a far smarter man and the real 
sort of skipper for a tea clipper, held on, with the result 
that when the Wild Deer filled away again at daylight 
the Douglas Castle had a lead of several miles. Soon 
after sun up another ship was observed getting under 
weigh close to Billiton, where she had evidently anchored 
for the night; this proved to be the Peter Denny from 
Foochow — another of Patrick Henderson's ships. All 
three ships now had a fine trial of strength in the beat 
through Caspar Straits. In this windward work the 
Peter Denny showed up best, being by far the quickest 
ship at going about, but she was commanded by a very 
smart sailorman, Captain Ceorge Adams, who had 
everything arranged for quick working, whilst old 
Smith was specially slow at getting the Wild Deer 



WILD DEER 859 

round — he was generally late with his commands and 
always hauled his mainsail up, though Captain Cobb 
always used to work his mainsail in tacking. 

At 10 a.m. the Douglas Castle kept away for the 
Macclesfield Channel, and about noon Wild Deer made 
for Clements Channel, whilst the Peter Denny held 
on for the Stolze ; this would save her tacking again 
once she was clear of the Straits, as the S.E. monsoon 
was blowing steadily in the Java Sea. Thus the ships 
were parted for a time. That night was another clear 
moonlight night with a nice little breeze. During the 
first watch the Brothers were sighted on the Wild Deer, 
and Duncan reported them to Captain Smith, who was 
lying asleep on the skylight. Smith, however, had none 
of the alertness of a crack China trader and went off into 
a heavy sleep again, then during the middle watch he 
woke up like a bear with a sore head and asked the big 
Highland second mate if he had seen the Brothers yet. 
Of course the second mate said he had not seen them, as 
they had been passed whilst his watch was below. At 
this old Smith got in a panic ; the mainyard was backed, 
the courses hauled up and the royal yards lowered 
down. On coming on deck at 4 a.m. Duncan found to 
his amazement that the ship was hove to, and to his 
disgust that one of the others had passed her during the 
night whilst she lay with her head under her wing. On 
finding out the reason from the second mate, he roused 
out the ** Old Man " and reminded him that he had 
reported the Brothers during the first watch. And you 
may be sure that it was ** jump and go " for the crew 
until the Wild Deer was off again. 

The wind fell light as the ship approached Sunda 
Straits, and as Wild Deer crawled towards An jer the 
other two ships were sighted ahead, almost becalmed. 



360 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Wild Deer managed to avoid the calm patch by going 
to the norrard of Thwarttheway Island and Krakatoa, 
and thus stole a march on her rivals; however, they 
finally came out of the Straits, neck and neck. Just 
before dark the S.E. trade came away. Wild Deer 
was still leading, but the Douglas Castle was so close 
astern that each crew could hear the other singing out 
as they trimmed sail for the run across the trades. 

The next morning found Wild Deer still in the lead 
with the other two ships one on each quarter, and the 
following day the three ships separated until they were 
off the Cape. Then, on a day of baffling and squally 
winds the Wild Deer and Douglas Castle passed each 
other on opposite tacks, the Douglas signalling that she 
had spoken the Denny that morning. 

The Wild Deer found a head wind in the mouth of the 
Channel, but eventually after two days* beating a fine 
slashing breeze came out of the south-west. At Dunge- 
ness the pilot had no news of the other two ships; but 
just as the Wild Deer was making fast to her buoy at 
Gravesend the Douglas Castle came up, and, as she 
passed, hailed to say that the Peter Denny was close 
astern. 

Unfortunately for Wild Deer she remained under the 
command of Captain Smith for several more voyages, 
during which she was not allowed to show her paces and 
usually arrived home in such a condition that Captain 
Sellers, the ship's-husband (a good old name for the 
present day shore superintendent) used to declare that 
she was a disgrace to the Albion fleet. 

However, on Captain Smith's death Captain Cowan 
had her for two voyages, carrying emigrants to New 
Zealand ; on Cowan leaving her to take the Wellington 
from the stocks, Captain Kilgour, who had been mate 



WILD DEER 361 

in her, was given command, and in 1881-2 she came 
home from Otago in 82 days, arriving on 30th January. 

Then Captain Kerr had her; this man had been 
carpenter of the Peter Denny years before, and mate of 
the Christian McCausland, one of Henderson's first iron 
ships. He was a very steady man, but no sailor. 

On 12th January, 1883, when outward bound with 
emigrants, he piled the poor old Wild Deer up on North 
Rock, Cloghy, County Down, and she became a total 
loss. 

Duncan's Method of Taking in Sail. 

It may be of interest, perhaps, to describe the 
method used by Duncan, the crack racing mate o{ Ariel, 
Titania, and Wild Deer, when taking in sail. For a 
topgallant sail he sent as many men as were available 
to the lee bunt line and leach line; one hand, generally 
an apprentice, stood by the clewline, and another 
attended to the weather brace. Duncan himself would 
ease away a few feet of the halliards, then sing out: — 
** Let go your lee sheet ! " Away would fly the sheet, 
followed by Duncan letting go the halliards; the hands 
on the buntline and leachline hauling away for all they 
were worth, the yard would run down and round itself in 
so that the boy on the weather brace only had to take 
in the slack. With smart hands on bunt and leach- 
lines, the lee side of the sail would be spilt and up on 
the yard before it was well down and the apprentice on 
the clewline had only to get in the slack and make it 
fast. The lee side of the sail being well up, there was 
no trouble with the weather side. A hand in the top 
was almost unnecessary as the lee sheet needed no 
lighting up — it did that itself quick enough. The 
success of this method, of course, depended on the 



362 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

smartness of the hands on the bunt and leachline, but 
there were not many indifferent sailormen in a tea 
clipper's foc's'le. 

In taking in a course Duncan used to man the lee bunt 
and leachlines well, with two hands only on the clew 
garnet ; on the sheet being eased away bunt and leach- 
lines were hauled smartly in, the sail was at once spilt 
and hauled up to the yard without a flap, the slack of 
the clew garnet being rounded up; then there was no 
trouble with the weather side. 

This is also the method advocated by Captain Basil 
Hall in his Fragments of Voyages. Everything de- 
pended, of course, on having the necessary beef on the 
bunt and leachlines, 

** Peter Denny." 

The P^ ^erDennt/ was built by Duthie, of Aberdeen, 
of teak and greenheart with iron knees in the 'tween 
decks, and measured 998 tons. 

She was not a very fast ship, her best run in the 
westerlies being 285 miles, but she was a very handy- 
easy working ship and, still better, a very comfortable 
happy ship. She was also well run and beautifully 
kept under Captain Adams. 

The Albion Shipping Company, 1869 Ships. 

In 1869 Duncan, of Glasgow, built the two fine 
little composite ships, James Nicol Fleming (afterwards 
renamed the Napier) and the Otago, for Patrick Hender- 
son. They were sister ships of 993 tons register. Their 
top strake and bulwarks were of iron, but their bottoms 
were of wood with pure copper sheathing. 

The Otago, by the way, must not be confused with a 
little iron barque of 346 tons, which was owned in 
Adelaide and at one time commanded by Joseph Conrad. 



ALBION SHIPPING CO. 863 

Patrick Henderson's Otago was eventually sold to 
the Portuguese and renamed Ermilla. She was tor- 
pedoed and sunk by the Germans early in the war. 

It was in 1869 that Patrick Henderson made his first 
venture in iron ships, Scott, of Greenock, building him 
the two sister ships Jessie Readman and Christian 
McCausland, of 962 tons register. These were fine 
handy little ships, good for 11 knots on a taut bowline, 
and equally good off the wind. They made very good 
outward passages with their 'tween decks full of emi- 
grants, and loaded wool home. In those early days all 
the New Zealand wool was pressed on board before being 
stowed; this was generally done by a temporary crew 
of beachcombers, as it was the regular thing for a crew 
to run on arrival in the Colonies, however comfortable 
the ship was. The crew picked up for the run home 
was usually a fine one, of real sailormen, who had tired 
of the land after a short spell of working ashore. 

The ** Christian McCausland" Loses her WheeL 

In 1873, on the run to the Horn, when homeward 
bound loaded deep with wool and tallow (it was just 
before the days of Plimsoll) the Christian McCausland 
had her wheel washed away, and the incident, as 
showing what a beautiful steering ship she was, is 
worth recording. 

Being very deep, she was making a wet passage of it 
running before the high westerly seas, and taking a 
good deal of heavy water aboard, especially in the 
waist. About eight days after leaving port she was 
running before a fresh gale on the starboard quarter, 
under reefed foresail, reefed upper topsails, and fore top- 
mast staysail, the only sail set on the mizen being the 
lower topsail. 



864 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Soon after the change of the watch at 4 a.m., two 
heavy seas broke over the poop in quick succession, and 
washed away the wheel, which with the helmsman 
clinging to it was only brought up by the rail at the 
break of the poop. 

The mate, whose watch it was, ran forward, singing 
out for all hands, and as he went, let go the topsail 
halliards. The ship, however, made no attempt to 
broach to, and ran along as steadily as if someone was 
at the helm. 

As soon as possible the relieving tackles were rigged, 
and it was found that with five men on each tackle the 
ship could be steered without any difficulty. So the 
topsails were hoisted again and away she went. 

The gear connecting the wheel to the rudder head 
was the usual right and left handed screws, which were 
luckily undamaged. These no doubt acted as a brake 
on the spindle and had a good deal to do with stopping 
the ship from coming up in the wind when the wheel went. 
The wheel and helmsman were found at the break of 
the poop, the man unhurt, but the wheel with every 
spoke broken through close to the nave as if cut by a saw. 

During the morning watch the weather moderated 
and the carpenter was able to unship the nave of the 
wheel, and it was found that one of the main winch 
handles fitted the spindle as if made for it. This was 
put on the spindle, and the ship was actually steered 
by turning the winch handle, the helmsman facing the 
ship's side and looking over his shoulder at the compass. 
Later on, the captain improved this curious method of 
steering, by lashing a small handspike to the vertical 
arm of the winch handle, which gave the helmsman 
much more command and also allowed him to stand 
upright. And in three days the carpenter fitted the 




" CHRISTIAN McCAUSLAND. 
Photo by De Maus, Port Chalmers. 




PIAKO." 



[To face page S64. 



CHRISTIAN McCAUSLAND 365 

rim of the wheel and nave with a new set of stout elm 
spokes, and made such a good job of it that it was not 
found necessary to replace them on arrival in London. 
The rest of the passage was uneventful, the Horn was 
rounded in fine weather, and the Christian McCausland 
finally brought up at Gravesend close astern of the 
Russian royal yacht, which had just brought over the 
Czar Alexander on a visit to England. 

After having four ships on the stocks in 1869, Patrick 
Henderson remained content with his fleet until 1874. 
His ships were always painted black with gold stripe 
and gingerbread work, whilst Shaw, SavilPs were 
painted green. When the two firms amalgamated in 
1882, all their ships came out with painted ports and 
lead colour under the ports. 

The Origin of the Albion House-flag. 

The Albion house-flag, a French flag with a 
small Union Jack in the centre, is supposed to have 
originated during the Crimean War. It is said that 
one of their early vessels carried both French and British 
troops at the same time, and for this reason flew a 
Union Jack and a French tricolour side by side on 
separate flagstaff s on the stern — this being later im- 
proved upon by the well-known Henderson house-flag. 

The Nev»^ Zealand Shipping Company. 

During the early years of the Colony Shaw, 
Sayill and P. Henderson had practically all the carrying 
trade in their hands. Occasionally an outsider took 
a load of emigrants out to New Zealand, such as the 
White Star liner Chariot of Fame, but the big Liverpool 
emigrant ships were really too big for the small volume 
of trade at that time. However, as both emigration 



366 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

to and trade with New Zealand increased, it was felt 
that the service of ships could well be improved, and 
at last in 1873, with this object in view, a number of 
merchants and run holders in the Colony decided to go 
in for shipowning and managing, and formed them- 
selves into a company under the style of the New 
Zealand Shipping Company. 

Full of enthusiasm, push and go, the promoters 
of the N.Z.S. Co. were determined from the first to have 
a line worthy to class with the Blackwall frigates of 
Green & Wigram. They had, of course, a great deal 
to learn, and mistakes were made but never repeated; 
and so great was their energy that in the first three 
years of their existence they chartered and despatched 
no less than 150 ships, carrying 28,675 passengers to the 
Colony. And before the company was ten years old 
it owned 16 up-to-date iron clippers, most of which had 
been built specially for them. 

From the start the N.Z.S. Co. proceeded on generous 
lines, their ships being always well found, well manned 
and most liberally kept up. Their officers, also, 
considered themselves the aristocrats of the trade and 
rather looked down on the more economical Shaw, 
Savill and Albion clippers, whom they nicknamed the 
** Starvation Stars," in allusion to the stars in their 
house-flag, which by the way is the proper New Zealand 
flag which Queen Victoria presented to the Maoris. 

The ships built for the N.Z.S, Co. were none of them 
specially fast ; they aimed chiefly at safety and comfort 
for their passengers. 

All these ships were built of iron, the finest and 
fastest of the fleet being the beautiful little Turakina, 
which originally belonged to George Smith of the 
well-known City Line, being then called the City 



NEW ZEALAND SHIPPING CO. 



367 



of Perth. I shall deal with her in more detail 
presently. 

LIST OF THE NEW ZEALAND SHIPPING COMPANY'S 
SAILING FLEET. 



^^^ Ship 


Tons 


Length 


Breadth 


Depth 


Builders 


Built ^ 




Feet 


Feet 


Feet 




1855 


PareoraiexWhUe Eagle) 


879 


203-3 


32-8 


20-9 


At Glasgow 


1863 


WaUara 


833 


182-4 


31-4 


20-9 


Reid, Glasgow 


,, 


Rangitiki (ex-CimUar) . . 


1188 


210-0 


35 


22-7 


Samuelson. Hull 


1868 


Turakina (ex-City of Perth) 


1189 


232-5 


^ 35-4 


222 


Connell, 01a.«gow 


,, 


Waimea (ex- DoreUe) 


848 


194-3 


31-7 


19-0 


Goddefrog, Hamburg 


„ 


Mataura (ex -Dun/Ulan) 


853 


199-4 


33-3 


20-3 


Aitken, Glasgow 


1873 


Raknia 


1022 


210-2 


340 


19-2 


Blumer. Sunderland 


1874 


Waikato 


1021 


210-5 


341 


19-2 


». •> 


„ \ Waimate (e\-Uindostan) 


1124 


2197 


35-1 


20-7 


>f >> 


j» 


Waitangi 


1128 


2220 


35-1 


20-8 


,, ., 


1875 


Hurunui 


1012 


204-1 


34-2 


20-0 


Palmers Co.. Newcastle 


., 


Orari 


1011 


204-1 


342 


20-0 


M •> 


,, 


Otaki 


1014 


204-1 


34-2 


200 


l» T. 


,, 


Waipa 


1017 


2041 


34-2 


20 


„ ,', • 


! 


Wairoa 


1015 


204-1 


322 


200 


»> ») 


1876 


Opawa 


1076 


215-2 


34-0 


20-4 


Stephen, Glasgow 


,, 


Piako 


1075 


215-3 


34-0 


20-5 


>> >» 


1877 


Wanganui 


1077 


215-3 


340 


20-4 


i» »» 



The Pareora was broken up in 1889. 

The Waitara came to her end by colliding with the 
Hurunui in the English Channel on 22nd June, 1883. 

The Rangitiki was sold to the Norwegians and re- 
named Dalston. She was resold in 1909 for £1500 and 
went to New Caledonia as a hulk. 

The Waimea was sold to the Norwegians and wrecked 
on the South African Coast in 1902. 

The Mataura brought the first cargo of frozen meat 
from New Zealand, arriving on 26th September, 1882, 
being fitted with Haslam's patent dry air refrigerator. 
She was then rigged as a barque. She was eventually 
sold to the Norwegians and renamed Alida. On 24th 
August, 1900, she was dismasted in the Pacific and 
abandoned. 

The Raikaia also went to the Norwegians and was 



368 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

renamed Marie. She was again sold, to Boston ship- 
owners, for 4850 dollars, and is once more sailing the 
seas under her old name. 

The Waikato was sold to the Germans and her name 
changed to J. C. Pfluger. They sold her in 1900 to 
Calif ornian owners, who sailed her out of Frisco rigged 
as a barquentine. She is now a hulk disguised under 
the name of Coronado. 

The Waimate, from noon on 26th November to noon 
27th November, in 1881, covered 354 miles in the 
23 J -hour day running the easting down in lat. 47^ S. 
In the p.m. the sea was smooth and the wind gradually 
freshening. Captain Mosey who was making his first 
voyage in the ship, hung on to his main royal until the 
first watch, the wind being on the port quarter. By 
daybreak the wind was dead aft with bright sunshine 
and a clear sky, but with a very big sea running. 

Her best week's run was from the 27th November 
to 3rd December, being 1807 miles. 

Waimate was a sky sail yarder, and with the wind 
abaft the beam could be made to travel, but she 
was nothing extraordinary with the yards on the 
backstays. 

She was once in company with Shaw, Savill's Marl- 
borough off the Snares. With the wind free she had the 
best of it, but as soon as they hauled up to stand along 
the New Zealand Coast the Marlborough passed her 
without any trouble. 

Two years later Waimate, with Captain Mosey still 
in command, ran from Lyttelton to the Scillies in 71 
days. She was sold by the N.Z.S.Co. to the Russians 
and renamed Valkyrian. She went missing in 1899. 

Waitangi is still afloat flying Norwegian colours 
under the name of Agda . 



OTAKl 369 

Hurunui is also, I believe, still afloat under the 
Russian flag, her name being Hermes. 

Orari was sold to the Italians in 1906 and converted 
into a hulk in 1909. 

**Otaki*s" Record Passage Home. 

Otaki is famous for her wonderful run home in 
1877. She left Port Chalmers with Captain J. F. 
Millman in command at 4 p.m. on 11th March; was 
becalmed for four days off the New Zealand Coast; 
was then 22 days to the Horn; reached the Lizard 
63 days out from her departure, and docked in London 69 
days out. During this passage she only had eight hours 
of head winds. Otaki was nothing special in the way of 
sailing and never made more than 10 knots, so her 
passage must really be put down to amazing good luck. 
She was bought by the Germans and renamed Dr. 
Siegert, being wrecked in 1896. 

Waipa went to the Norwegians in her old age, and 
I believe she is still afloat under the name of Munter. 

Wairoa was bought by the Russians and renamed 
Winnipeg. She went missing in 1907 whilst bound 
from Pensacola to Buenos Ayres. 

Opawa and Piako were two beautiful little ships. 
In 1877 Opazva went from the London Docks to New 
Zealand and home again with wool in 6 months 9 days. 
And in 1893 she made the passage New Zealand to Liver- 
pool in 83 days. She was still afloat in quite recent years 
under the name of Aquila and Norwegian colours. The 
sister ship Piako went missing in 1900 on a passage from 
Melbourne to the Cape, being then German owned. 

The Wanganui, last ship built for the firm, was still 
afloat when the war started as the Norwegian barque 
Blenheim. 



370 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

**Turakina'' ex-** City of Perth/' 

I have left the Turakina to the last, as she 
deserves a longer notice, being one of the most beautiful 
little iron ships that ever left the ways. She was built 
of extra thick plates and launched in May, 1868, for 
Smith's famous City Line to Calcutta. 

The following interesting account of her in her early 
days appeared in the Nautical Magazine in 1917 : — 

I sailed in this vessel when she was three years old, under Captain 
Beckett, a native of Saltcoats, Firth of Clyde. Captain Beckett would 
have no foreigners or negroes sail with him, either as officers or sailors, 
and he was one of the most upright and good-living men I ever sailed 
under, and I went to sea first in 1858. His policy was the same for the 
men as for the cabin, with plenty of good food, no allowance, sufficient 
without waste, and plenty of work to keep the scurvy out of the bones, 
as the sailors said. 

We left the Clyde at latter end of September, 1871, with a general 
cargo for Calcutta. We soon got out of the St. George's Channel, and 
got all the studding sail gear rigged ready for the first favourable wind, 
and that occurred in lat. 43° N., long. 14° 15' W. We then set top- 
gallant, royal, topmast, and square lower stunsails, watersails, ringtail 
and ringtail watersail, Jamie Green and save-alls every place where a 
sail could be set; wind N.W. but gradually increasing to a gale. 

However we kept everything on her. On the second day after 
everything had been set, about 11 a.m., we sighted a ship ahead of us; 
by 2 p.m. we were up alongside of her. She was a New York full-rigged 
ship from the Tyne for California. 

The American captain asked us where we were bound from and where 
bound to. The whole of his crew came and looked at us, and her 
master cried to our captain that we were the prettiest sight he had ever 
seen. Our ship was going fully 17 knots when we passed her, and in 
three hours we had left her completely out of sight. 

I have been in many ships in my time, but never one to equal her for 
speed. She was built by Connell, on the Clyde, and she was certainly 
that firm's masterpiece. She was iron, and one of the most beautiful 
models you could look at in the water. The Thermopylae was the largest 
of the China clippers. She was 948 tons, but the City was 1189 tons. 
She was a far more powerful ship. I have been in many cracks, but I 
never saw anything that could look at her in a strong breeze, and as for 
running in a heavy gale she would run before the heaviest gale that 
ever blew. 




" TURAKINA " ex " CITY OF PERTH." 
Photo by De Maus, Port Chalmers. 




" OTAKI " becalmed. 



Lent by F. G. Laylon. 



[To face page 370. 



TURAKINA 871 

And he goes on to give the following week's work 
from the N.E. trades to Sandy Hook. 

Left Calcutta, 16th January, 1872, for New York. Arrived at 
New York on 5th April, 1872. Below are the position and runs in 
nautical miles. 

29th March, 1872. position at noon, lat 28° 01' N., long. 30° 00' W. 

30th March, 1872, position at noon, lat 30° 40' N., long. 35° 56' W. 
distance 298. 

31st March, 1872, position at noon lat. 32° 14' N., long. 41° 44' W. 
distance 300. 

1st April, 1872, position at noon, lat. 33° 55' N., long. 48° 35' W. 
distance 363. 

2nd April, 1872, position at noon, lat. 35° 30' N., long. 55° 39' W. 
distance 350. 

3rd April, 1872, position at noon, lat. 36° 51' N., long. 62° 36' W. 
distance 350. 

4th April, 1872, position at noon, lat. 38° 40' N., long. 69° 10' W. 
distance 345. 

5th April, 1872, position at noon. lat. 40° 29' N., long. 73° 58' \\. 
distance 342. 

Time 170 hours. Nautical miles 2348. 

I do not agree with all his distances, but anyhow it 
is a wonderful week's work and probably the quickest 
run into New York from 28° N. , 30° W. , ever made by a 
sailing ship. 

During the seventies Messrs. George Smith & Sons 
generally sent one or two of their fastest ships out to 
Australia for a wool cargo home; and in 1873, 1874 and 
1875 City of Perth went out to Melbourne and loaded 
wool home. Her outward passages ran to over 80 days, 
but in 1874 Captain Beckett made the fine run of 81 days 
to the Thames. 

Owing to the exporters of wool insisting that her 
bottom was foul, she was docked, with her cargo on 
board, in the Alfred Graving Dock the day before she 
sailed. Her bottom was found to be clean, but Captain 
Beckett took the opportunity to give her a coat of tallow, 
and leaving on the following day, 15th November, he 



872 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

caught the February wool sales without any difficulty 
and cased the minds of the anxious wool exporters. It 
was his last passage in her, however, for in 1875 Captain 
Warden took her out to Melbourne in 88 days from the 
Lizard, but he ran his easting down in 38° S. and did not 
give her a chance. Again she loaded wool and this time 
was given a coating of Peacock & Buchan's patent 
before sailing. 

After this she went back to the Calcutta trade until 

1881, when she left London under Captain McDonald 
for Canterbury, N.Z., and went on t«iTimaru and loaded 
wheat. She completed her loading, and on 13th May, 

1882, was lying at anchor in the inner anchorage close 
to the Ben Venue, when it came on to blow with a big 
sea making. 

8.30 a.m. on the 14th found the Ben Venue with two 
anchors and the City of Perth with three, riding out a 
furious gale. But the outlook was very bad especially 
for the little Ben Venue which had a heavy list to 
starboard, being almost on her beam ends. Four hours 
later one of Ben Venue"* s cables parted and she began to 
drag, and about 1 o'clock stranded in Caroline Bay. 

About the same time City oj Perth was also seen to be 
dragging her anchors and soon afterwards drifted ashore 
to the north of Ben Venue, but further seaward. 

Captain McDonald tried to send a boat ashore, but 
she capsized and the ship's second mate and carpenter 
were both drowned and the mate had his leg broken. 
Meanwhile great rescue efforts were made from tlie 
shore, the lifeboat was launched, but she also capsized 
and six of her crew were drowned, including the harbour- 
master of Timaru. The gale had moderated sufficiently 
by the 19th to attempt towing the City of Perth off, but 
without success. Her partner in misfortune, the beauti- 



CITY OF PERTH AND BEN VENUE 373 

ful little Ben Venue, had by this time become a total 
wreck, and the only gear salved, including some of her 
spars, was sold for £150. 

After the failure to get the City of Perth afloat her 
cargo was got out of her, and with an empty hold she was 
at last towed off successfully. She was then surveyed 
and sold, her hull and gear only fetching £900. She 
was next towed round to Port Chalmers and docked 
there on 1st July, when it was found that the rudder was 
carried away, with about 20 feet of the keelson and 
keel, besides five bottom plates very much damaged. 
It speaks well for the ship, considering the pounding 
she must have undergone, that the damage was not 
worse. Again she was sold privately for £500, I am 
not certain whether the N.Z.S.Co. bought her on this 
occasion or after her arrival in London after being 
patched up. If they did, they got a wonderful bargain, 
though they might have had a still better, for whilst she 
was lying stranded she was offered for sale by auction 
and only a few pounds bid for her. 

After being repaired and refitted, she was sent to 
Invercargill to load for London ; and she left Invercar- 
gill on 13th April, 1883, in charge of Captain McFarlane, 
arriving safely in the Thames on 8th July after a good 
passage of 86 days. 

Here she had a thorough refit, and finally left London 
on 24th October, 1883, under a new captain, with the 
name of Turakina on her stern and flying the N.Z.S.Co. 
house-flag. She arrived at Auckland on 19th January, 
1884, 86 days out. 

During the next few years we find her in charge of a 
Captain Power, who was evidently not a sail carrier, 
for she did nothing remarkable whilst he had her. 

In 1885, on her passage home from Otago, she sur- 



374 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

vived another bad dusting. She left Port Chalmers on 
9th March, had strong S.W. gales and heavy weather to 
the Horn, which was rounded at 6 a.m. on the 5th 
April, 27 days out. On 11th April, when in 44° 46' S., 
40** W., she ran into a perfect hurricane, the squalls being 
at their worst between noon and 5p.m. At 2 p.m. the 
lower main topsail blew away, at 2.30 the foresail was 
whipped out of her and at 3 the lee quarter boat was 
washed away. All this time the ship was swept fore 
and aft by the terrific sea running, and at 5 p.m. the 
weight of water on her main deck burst the lee topgallant 
bulwarks. Luckily the wind then began to veer to the 
S.W. and the squalls began to take off and come up at 
longer intervals. 

The equator was crossed on 3rd May, 28 days from 
the Horn. She had light trades followed by moderate 
southerly winds to the Western Isles, then light 
southerly and easterly winds, with thick fog to the 
Wight, where she picked up her tug, arriving in the 
Thames on 11th June, 94 days out. 

Like most of the New Zealand clippers Turakina was 
fitted with refrigerating machinery in the late eighties, 
and it was as a frozen meat ship under Captain Hamon 
that she made her name as a passage maker in the New 
Zealand trade. 

In 1892 she left Gisborne and arrived home on 31st 
May, 78 days out. 

In 1893 she left Timaru for Liverpool on 2nd February, 
but carried away her mainyard on the first night out 
and had to put back to Lyttelton to repair damages. 
This spoilt her passage. 

In 1894 she signalled off the Lizard on 27th May, only 
69 days out from Wellington, and docked in the London 
River, 71 days out. 



TURAKINA 375 

In 1895 she made the Wight on 1st July, 73 days out 
from Port Chalmers. 

On her previous outward passage she had distinguished 
herself by sailing past the company's steamer Ruapehu. 
The following account of this incident was given me by 
one of the officers of the steamship : — 

On the 14th February. 1895, in lat. 46° 15' S., long. 68° 16' E.. the 
N.Z.S. Co.'s mail steamer Ruapehu was running her easting down under 
whole topsails and courses, the weather dirty and a strong wind from 
the norrard, force 7 Beaufort scale. At 9 a.m. a sailing ship was 
reported astern, topgallant sails up. Shortly after she sheeted home 
her royals. Orders were given on the Ruapehu to the engineer to drive 
the ship and topgallant sails were set, the patent log showing a good 
14. 

At noon exactly the N.Z S. Co.'s sailing ship Turakina passed along 
our lee side. She was then carrying all square sail except mizen royal 
and topgallant sail (probably griping a good deal). She was right along- 
side and you could distinguish the features of the officers, and see the 
seas breaking over her — I have a very good photo. She then hauled 
her wind and crossed our bow, at the same time shortening sail to topsails, 
reef in mainsail and furled crossjack; even then she held her own with 
us during a long summer evening light, till 9.30 there she was just ahead 
on the port bow. 

Next day at noon we had run 315 miles. At midnight the wind 
came aft and she was therefore not in sight from masthead at daylight. 
It was a wonderful performance and made a man feel glad to be alive 
to see it. 

And the Turakina held her own for 14 days. She 
covered the 5000 miles between the meridians of the 
Cape and the Leeuwin, in 16 days, her best runs being 
328, 316 and 308. 

I am glad to say that the gallant little ship is still 
afloat under the name of Elida, owned in Tordesstrand. 

In 1912 she was in Rio at the same time as the Portu- 
guese Ferreira ex-Cutty Sark, I wonder how many of 
the shipping people there realized that two of the fastest 
and most beautiful sailing ships ever built were lying at 
anchor in their wonderful harbour. 



876 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Before leaving the Turakina, I must not omit to give 
her official measurements from Lloyd's Register : — 

Tonnage (net) . . . . . . 1 1 89 tons 

Tonnage (gross) . . . . . . 1247 ,, 

Tonnage (under deck) .. .. 1160 ,. 

Length 232.5 feet 

Breadth 35.4 ., 

Depth 22.2 „ 

Depth moulded 23.5 „ 

Freeboard amidships (summer) 4.5^ „ 

Raised quarterdeck . . . . 32 „ 



Robert Duncan's Six Beautiful Sister Ships. 

In 1874 Patrick Henderson launched out by 
ordering six iron passenger clippers from Robert Duncan 
and two from Scott, of Greenock, and of the big fleet 
of splendid iron ships built in the seventies there were 
few more perfect specimens of the shipbuilders' art 
than these eight ships. The following are the measure- 
ments of the Duncan ships : — 



Ship 


Date 
Launched 


Tonnage 


Length 


Beam 


Depth 


Length 
of Poop 


Length 

of 
Foc'fl'ie 


Dunedin 


March 1874 


1250 


241 


36.1 


20.9 


70 


35 


Canterbury 


May 1874 


1245 


239.7 


36 


20.8 


70 


35 1 


Invercargill . . 


June 1874 


1246 


239,7 


36 


20.7 


70 


35 


Auckland 


July 1874 


1245 


239.8 


36 


20.7 


70 


35 


Nelson 


Aug. 1874 


1247 


239.3 


36 


20.7 


70 


35 


Wellington . . 


Sept. 1874 


1247 


239.8 


36 


20.7 


70 


35 



All these ships, with the exception of Dunedin, which 
went missing when homeward bound with frozen meat 
in 1889, were sailing the seas in the twentieth century, 
and until Shaw, Savill sold them in 1904-5 were still 
making good passages. Even after they had ceased to 
carry emigrants, their outward passages were constantly 
under 80 days; and the frozen mutton did not affect 
their homeward runs as much as one would expect, for 




Im 




DUNCAN'S SHIPS 377 

I find the Nelson running from Wellington to the Lizard 
in 1889-90 in 83 days; the Auckland from Wellington 
to the Lizard in 1899 in 84 days ; Inver car gill from 
Timani to the Wight in 1895, in 85 days, and Wellington 
from Timaru to the Lizard in 1900 in 79 days. 

The Canterbury was credited with a run out of 64 days. 
She was at her best off the wind in a strong breeze. 
She was still afloat at the outbreak of the war, owned 
in Tordesstrand , Norway. 

Invercargill, under Captain Bowling, had many 
excellent passages to her credit. Captain Bowling 
was a native of Kingstown, in Ireland, and started his 
sea life in the China trade. He commanded the 
Invercargill for 13 years, at the end of which time he 
had been 50 years at sea and 30 years in command of 
sailing ships. He was one of Shaw, Savill's most 
trusted commanders and was noted for the way in 
which he handled his beautiful ship. 

Not many years ago a writer to the ** Nautical " 
described one of Captain Bowling's skilful bits of 
seamanship. He wrote as follows : — 

The Invercargill, fully laden from London, arrived off Wellington 
Heads one afternoon. A fine southerly breeze was blowing. Very 
impatient to get anchored, Captain Bowling decided to sail right in 
without the assistance of a tug. But just as he got well up the entrance, 
the wind suddenly veered right round to the northward and blew hard, 
and as his ship was well up inside Barrett's Reef by this time, things 
began to look rather serious. Notwithstanding his many difficulties — 
for the slightest error or hesitation in timing the order of the different 
. rbanceuvres meant disaster — old Bowling managed everything like 
clockwork, and the Invercargill dropped her anchor off Kaiwarra, just 
as darkness fell. 

The Inver car giirs last passage under the British 
flag in 1904 was her worst; in it she weathered out the 
biggest gale of Captain Bowling's experience. She 
sailed from Sydney, N.S.W., on the 27th August, 1904, 



878 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

loaded with wheat, being bound to Queenstown for 
orders On the 30th September she was caught m a 
Cape Horn snorter, her cargo shifted to port, her port 
bulwarks were carried away and for some time she lay 
on her beam ends. At last by hard work the cargo was 
man-handled to the windward side, she righted and 
continued her passage. But once again she ran into 
heavy weather, this time in the Atlantic in 45° N., 20° 
W., and the mornmg of the 8th December found her 
battling with a heavy gale from N.W., the weather 
being clear. The entry in the log at 4p.m. said : — 

Hard squalls and high confused sea vessel labouring heavily and 
shipping great quantities of water lore and aft. 

At 7 p.m. both wind and sea increased, and a huge 
mountain of water broke over the port quarter and 
swept the decks, the whole length of her. The cabin 
skylight was burst in and the water flooded below, 
breaking into the saloon and cabins, the sail locker, 
the lazarette and even into the 'tween decks; the 
companion hatch on the poop was carried away, and 
along with it went both compasses, stands and binnacles, 
side lights and screens, the patent log from the taffrail; 
in fact, pretty near everything on the decks except the 
wheel. Mr. Le Sueur, the mate, lost no time in getting 
a sail over the gaping skylight and all hands were turned 
to bailing out the water from below, which was up to 
one's waist in the cabin. 8 p.m. found the gale still 
blowing with undiminished force, and the ship was 
rolling heavily as she ran before it. By midnight the 
seas were mountainous and the squalls became fiercer 
and more frequent. About 4 a.m. a big sea washed 
out the carpenter's quarters, and '* Chips," under the 
impression that the ship was sinking by the head, made 
the best of his way aft. But Captain Bowling and his 



INVERCARGILL 879 

officers were all below clearing up the wrecked cabin, etc. 
The carpenter, thereupon, informed the man at the 
wheel of his fears, with the result that the latter had 
an attack of nerves, thought he was running the ship 
under, and allowed her to come to. As the ship 
broached to, the cargo shifted for the second time and 
the Inver car gill went over on her beam ends. The 
foresail, fore upper topsail, jib, fore topmast staysail 
and main royal all blew adrift out of the gaskets and 
were soon in tatters. The lifeboat to leeward was 
lifted out of her davits and swept away. Then, whilst 
the ship lay down with her lee foreyard arm dipped 
6 feet into the broken water to leeward, the seas worked 
havoc on the flooded main deck. 

Daylight disclosed the extent of the damage; the 
galley was gutted, the carpenter's shop was bare, all 
his tools gone and the doors smashed in; the contents 
of the bosun's locker, paint locker, and the mate's and 
second mate's cabins were washed clean out of them, 
and gone overboard. The topgallant bulwarks to 
leeward were all gone, and the running gear being 
dragged backwards and forwards through the swinging 
ports was cut to pieces, two of these ports had been torn 
off their hinges; the foc's'le-head and poop ladders 
were gone and all the poop stanchions ; whilst the racks 
for handspikes and capstan bars were empty. 

All that day and the next night the Invercargill 
lay like a log with her lee rail buried deep and her main 
deck full of water. At last, early on 10th December, 
the wind dropped very light and went into the S.W. 
with thick weather. 

Cargo was jettisoned to bring the ship on an even 
keel, and at last she was got away on her course. The 
next difficulty was making a landfall without a reliable 



880 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

compass, as only an old compass which had not been 
adjusted was available, both the steering and standard 
compasses having gone overboard. 

In spite of a large allowance made for his defective 
compass, Captain Bowling found himself nearly ashore 
amongst the Scilly Isles. Again his fine seamanship 
saved the vessel, and on the 18th December he brought 
her safely into Queenstown, 113 days out from Sydney. 

Orders were received here to proceed to Glasgow, 
but the crew came aft and refused to proceed in the 
crippled ship; upon which she was towed round to 
the Clyde and was docked in Princes Dock, Govan, on 
Christmas Eve. 

After she had been repaired and refitted at a cost of 
£1000, Shaw, Savill sold the splendid old ship to the 
Norwegians, who renamed her the Varg. She sailed 
for Christiania in 1905, with coal ballast, and was 
never seen again after clearing the Tail of the Bank. 

The Auckland, after a long and successful career with 
many fine passages to her credit, was sold to S. O. Stray, 
of Norway, in 1904, but soon disappeared from the 
Register. 

The Nelson's finest sailing feat was in 1875, when she 
ran from Otago Heads to the Horn in 19 days. She was 
still afloat in 1914 at the outbreak of the war, sailing as 
a barque under the Chilean flag, and must often have 
had a chance of trying her sailing powers against the old 
tea clipper, Lothair, which was also still afloat on the 
West Coast of South America. 

** Wellington" and Captain Cowan. 

I cannot pronounce an opinion as to which was the 
fastest of these six beautiful Duncan sisters, but the 
Wellington probably has the best average. She was 



WELLINGTON AND CAPTAIN COWAN 881 

taken from the stocks by Captain D. Cowan, of Peter- 
head, and under his able guidance was a most consistent 
passage-maker. Captain Cowan, like Captain Bowling, 
of Invercargill, was a magnificent seaman of the old 
sailing ship type, the survivors of which grow fewer, 
alas, every day. He served his time in the Peterhead 
whale fishery. Then about 1862 he joined Patrick 
Henderson'sas third officer of the Pladda,8i slow but com- 
fortable old wooden packet, which carried 400 emigrants 
to Port Chalmers. His next vessel was the Vicksburgh. 
Again after one New Zealand voyage he was transferred, 
this time with promotion to mate, to the Jane Henderson, 
in which he made three voyages to Rangoon, on the last 
of which, about 1867, he went in command. His 
second voyage as a skipper was in the Helenslee with 
passengers to Port Chalmers. This ship was sold 
in New Zealand, and Captain Cowan travelled home as 
a passenger. He next had Margaret Galbraith for two 
voyages, then the composite clipper Wild Deer, which 
he left in order to take over the Wellington. 

Captain Cowan had the Wellington for 18 years. He 
told me that the Wellington was such a fast ship with 
the wind abaft the beam that he never remembers her 
being passed under such conditions, but that she was 
nothing out of the way when braced sharp up. This 
indeed may be said to have been the general case with 
Duncan's ships. From 1877 to 1884 Wellington ran 
from Glasgow to Otago with first class passengers and 
emigrants. Under these favourable conditions her 
average outward passage was about 80 days, her four 
best being 73, 75, 76 and 78 days. 

Soon after the amalgamation with Shaw, Savill, 
Wellington had freezing machinery put on board, and 
henceforth came home with 18,000 carcases a trip. The 



882 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Wellington had her freezing machinery on board for 
four voyages, after which the mutton was sent on board 
frozen. 

** Wellington" Collides with an Iceberg. 

Early in the nineties she nearly finished her 
career by colliding with an iceberg to the eastward of the 
Falkland Islands. Her bows were stove in, two men 
being killed in the foc's'le by the deck being driven 
down on top of them, broken down by a mass of ice 
falling aboard. The bowsprit and jibboom were, of 
course, carried away, and also the fore topmast; only 
the collision bulkhead saved the ship from sinking. 
Captain Cowan shored up his bulkhead and squared 
away for Rio de Janeiro. He was a month getting 
there and repairs were hardly under weigh before the 
Civil War broke out, and all work was stopped for 
six months. 

Meanwhile in order to keep the mutton frozen, the 
engine had to be kept going at full speed night and day; 
owing to the heat not even a rest for an hour to overhaul 
it could be thought of, and it says a good deal for Captain 
Cowan and his engineer that they managed to keep 
the engine running without a breakdown for so many 
months. 

Orders came out from home that the mutton was to 
be sold ; whereupon Captain Cowan rashly sold some of 
it to the rebels — the Government at once issued a 
warrant for his arrest — and he had to be smuggled aboard 
the New Zealand Shipping Co. 's steamer Norangi, the 
mate being left in charge. After this very trying 
experience Captain Cowan, feeling that he needed a rest, 
retired from the sea. 

In 1904 the Wellington was sold to S. O. Stray, of 




TIMARU. 



Photo by De Mam, Port Chalmers. 




" WELLINGTON." 
At Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound. 



Lent tm F. G. Layton. 



[To face page 382. 



0AM A RU AND TIMARU 888 

Norway, for £3150. In December, 1906, she was 
abandoned on her beam ends and foundered when bound 
from a Gulf port to Rosario, 

**Oamaru" and **Timaru." 

Not content with Duncan's six beautiful ships, 
Patrick Henderson ordered two from Scott, of Greenock, 
in 1874. These were the Oamaru and Timaru, which 
measured 1306 tons, 239.1 feet length, 36.1 feet beam, 
21 feet depth. 

The Oamaru was launched in October and the Timaru 
in December. These fine little ships were well worthy 
of ranking with Duncan's beauties. 

The Timaru especially, under Captain Taylor, made 
some fine passages, when she was carrying emigrants. 

In March, 1879, she reported off the Scillies, only 
68 days out from New Zealand. On the following 
outward passage, she went out to Port Chalmers in 
78 days. Whilst running her easting down she averaged 
270 miles a day for 17 days. She had 499 souls on 
board this passage. 

Captain Taylor was rather fond of sending bottles 
adrift, a common practice in the old days, and he was 
lucky enough to have two picked up in five years. 
One which he threw over in 12° N. in the Atlantic 
was picked up in the Gulf of Guinea, and the other, 
thrown over just east of the Cape meridian, was washed 
up on the beach in Western Australia. 

These little New Zealand emigrant clippers, like 
the larger and earlier Australian clippers, constantly 
carried very rich cargoes of bullion. On one occasion 
the Timaru had £57,000 in bar gold on board. 

Oamaru was finally sold to Norway and renamed 
Fox, She was broken up in 1912. 



884 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Timaru was sold in South Africa as a cold storage 
ship during the Boer War, and is now, I believe, a 
freezing hulk at Durban. 

"Marlborough," * * Hermione * ' and **PIeione." 

In 1876 three very fine little ships were built for 
Shaw, Savill; these were: — 

Marlborough. 1124 tons, 228 feet length. 36 feet beam, 21 feet depth, 
launched in June from Duncan s yard. 

Pelione. 1092 tons. 209.7 feet, length, 34.6 feet beam, 20.3 feet 
depth, launched in September by Stephen, of Glasgow. 

Hermione, 1120 tons, 219.4 feet length, 35 feet beam, 21 feet depth, 
launched in October by Hall, of Aberdeen. 

The longest of the three was also the fastest, as is the 
general rule where beam and depth are about the same. 

Marlborough was certainly a very fast ship and in 
1880, under Captain Anderson, ran from Lyttelton to 
the Lizard in 71 days. 

In 1889 she sailed from New Zealand home\\ard 
bound with frozen mutton about six weeks behind the 
Dunedin, and a great stir was raised in New Zealand 
when neither ship reached her destination. No trace 
of them was ever found, though the Wellington which 
sailed in between the two arrived safely. 

Pleione, like so many ships in the New Zealand 
trade was eventually sold to the Scandinavians, whilst 
Hermione was bought by the Italians and renamed 
Mantova. She was broken up at Genoa in 1913. 

•*Taranaki," ♦♦Lyttelton," and ♦♦Westland." 

These three were the last sailing ships built for 
the Shaw, Savill & Albion Companies. Taranaki 
was James Galbraith's last ship and Westland Patrick 
Henderson's. 

All three were built by Duncan and were very fast 




WESTLAND." 




" TARANAKI/ 



Lent by Captain T. S. Angus. 



I To race page 384. 



:'? 



SHAW, SAVILL & ALBION 385 

ships, and continued making fine passages right into 
the twentieth century. They were over 100 tons 
smaller than Duncan's 1874 ships, their measurements 
being : — 

Taranaki. 1126 tons, 228.2 feet length, 35.2 feet beam, 20.9 feet depth. 
Lyttelton, 1111 tons, 223.8 feet length, 35.0 feet beam, 21.0 feet depth. 
Westland. 1116 tons. 222.8 feet length. 35.1 feet beam. 21 feet depth. 

Of the three, Westland was the fastest ; in fact, many 
people considered her to be the fastest of the Shaw, 
Savill & Albion fleet. One of ber best performances 
was a run of 72 days from Bluff Harbour to the Lizard, 
where she reported on 31st March, 1895. 

Taranaki was sold to the Italians, when Shaw, Savill 
parted with their sailers, and, owned in Genoa, was 
still afloat when the Great War burst on Europe. The 
Lyttelton struck on an uncharted rock outside Timaru, 
when leaving homeward bound. Westland went to the 
Norwegians, she put into Moss, leaking, and was 
condemned there. 

** Lutterworth" and **Lady Jocelyn." 

Besides the ships specially built for them, Shaw, 
Savill occasionally bought a ship; of these probably 
the best known were the Lutterworth and Lady Jocelyn. 

The Lutterworth was a fast little iron barque of 883 
tons, built by Denton, of Hartlepool, in 1868. Shaw, 
Savill & Co. sold her eventually to Turnbull & Co., 
of Lyttelton, N.Z. Whilst on a passage from Timaru 
to Kaipara in ballast, she was dismasted and abandoned 
in Cook Straits. She was, however, picked up as a 
derelict and towed into Wellington, where she was 
converted into a coal hulk. 

The Lady Jocelyn was one of those early auxiliary 
steamers, which always seem to have had long and 
adventurous careers. She was originally the Brazil, 
o 



386 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

owned by the General Screw Steamship Company, and 
was built as far back as 1852 by Mare, of London, her 
measurements being — 2138 tons; 254 feet length, 
39 feet beam, 24.9 feet depth. Of iron construction, 
she had a spar deck above her two decks, and no expense 
was spared in her construction. 

As an auxiliary steamer, like most of her kind, she 
proved to be a money -eater, and when after a few years 
the company went into liquidation she was bought by 
Shaw, Savill and put into their emigrant trade as a 
sailing ship. Then as passengers began to desert 
the clipper for steam, freezing machinery was put aboard 
her. Finally Shaw, Savill laid her up in the West 
India Docks, and used her as a frozen meat store ship, 
for which owing to her size and the freezing machinery 
aboard she was well adapted. 

Years passed and still she remained the most familiar 
object in the West India Dock, right up to the present 
date, during which time she has served a variety of 
purposes, such as store ship for the Shipping Federation 
and a home for strike breakers. 

Outsiders in the New Zealand Trade. 

Though the New Zealand trade was held pretty 
tightly in the hands of Shaw, Savill, the Albion Shipping 
Company and the New Zealand Shipping Company, 
many a distinguished ship paid an occasional visit to 
Maoriland, notably the beautiful tea clipper Sir Lancelot 
in 1879; the majestic Blackwall frigate The Tweed in 
1874, when she went out to Otago in 78 days; The 
Tweed^s great rival Thomas Stephens, which took 
passengers to Otago in 1879; Miltiades, which in 
1889-90 came home from Lyttelton in 78 days and 
the following season came home from Wellington in 




"BEN VENUE.' 



;r -T 




LADY JOCELYN." 



[To face page 38Q. 



BEN VENUE AND HINEMOA 387 

82 days; and Thessalus, which in 1900 ran from 
Lyttelton to the Lizards in 87 days, beating the famous 
coolie ship Sheila by a week. Loch Awe^s record 
passage to Auckland I have already mentioned in these 
pages, also Sam MendeVs 68 days to Port Chalmers. 
Some years later, in an attempt to beat this performance 
and incidentally a fast little City liner, Sam Mendel 
was dismasted and came into port without her foremast, 
bowsprit and jibbooms, which had all gone by tl^e board. • 

The Pretty Little **Ben Venue." 

A regular trader to New Zealand in the seventies 
was Watson's pretty little Ben Venue, an iron main 
skysail-yarder of 999 tons, launched by Barclay, Curie 
in 1867. Under Captain McGowan, she made the very 
fine average of 77 days for her outward passages, her 
best homeward being 72 days to the Lizards from 
Lyttelton in 1879. I have already described her loss 
in May, 1882. 

'♦Hinemoa." 

The distinction of being the only sailing ship 
specially built for the New Zealand frozen meat trade 
belongs to the splendid steel four-mast barque, Hinemoa, 
built by Russell, of Greenock, in 1890. She measured 
2283 tons, 278.1 feet length, 41.9 feet breadth, 24.2 feet 
depth. Like many of Russell's carriers she possessed 
a very fair turn of speed, especially off the wind, and has 
the following fine passages to her credit. 

1894 Downs to Melbourne . . . . . . 77 days 

1901 Newcastle, N.S.W., to Frisco . . . . 60 „ 

1902 Frisco to Old Head of Kinsale . . . . 101 „ 

Hinemoa was built at a time when ** sail " was 
making a final effort to hold its markets against the 
steam tramp. That effort was a truly gallant one, and 



388 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

but for the fact that the windjammer possesses a charm 
and fascination totally lacking in steam, and has ever 
been enthroned in the hearts of all lovers of the sea, 
masts and yards would not have lasted longer in the 
Mercantile Marine than they did in the Royal Navy. 

That there were still sailing ships used commercially 
in 1914 goes to prove that the most stony-hearted, 
matter-of-fact business man was ready to sacrifice his 
pocket for a sentiment, a sentiment indeed which many 
may find hard to define, yet which has forged the links 
in the chain of nations which represent the present 
British Empire. 

To sail and the sail-trained seaman more than to any 
other cause do we owe our nation's greatness. By sail 
were our homesteads kept safe from the enemy; by sail 
were our new coasts charted ; sail took the adventurous 
pioneers to the new land, and sail brought home the 
products of these new lands to the Old Country and 
made her the Market of the World. 

This book is an attempt to preserve in written form 
what the fading memory is fast forgetting — the Glorious 
History of the Sailing Ship. 

As o'er the moon, fast fly the amber veils. 
For one dear hour let's fling the knots behind, 

And hear again, thro' cordage and thro' sails. 
The vigour of the voices of the wind. 

They're gone, the Clyde-built darlings, like a dream. 
Regrets are vain, and sighs shall not avail, 

Yet, mid the clatter and the rush of steam, 
How strangely memory veers again to sail ! 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX A. 

Extracts from ''Lightning Gazette,'^ 1855-1857. 

Second Voyage. — Liverpool to Melbourne. 

Saturday. 6th January, 1855. — At 8 a.m. the anchor was weighed 
and the Lightning with two steamers ahead proceeded down the Mersey. 
The morning was cold with a small drizzling rain, the wind being 
contrary. The steam tender, on leaving with passengers for the shore, 
came in contact with our main brace and carried away her funnel. 
The start was anything but a cheerful one; nevertheless, with the aid 
of two powerful tugs, we progressed at the rate of 7 to 8 knots and at 
6p.m. passed the Skerries Lighthouse. 

Sunday, 7th January. — During the night we were nearly run into by 
a large American clipper, the Dreadnought, of New York; she being on 
the port tack, it was her duty to give way, but true to her name or with 
the independence of her nation, she held her course disdaining to turn 
aside; our captain with praiseworthy prudence put his ship about and 
thus avoided a collision. 

Monday. 8th January.— Lat. 52= 14' N.. long. 6° 12' W. Wind S.W. 
The night being very dark, we came in contact with a ship on the opposite 
tack. We saw and hailed, but the stranger evidently did not keep a 
good look-out and came straight upon us, striking our ship on the 
starboard bow. All was hubbub and confusion in a moment. The 
ships were speedily parted and fortunately without doing any damage 
to us worth mentioning. The stranger did not escape so well, having 
her jibboom carried away and her bowsprit sprung, as appeared to us in 
the dark. 

12th January.— Lat. 46° 55' N., long. 10° 41' W. Wind S.E. Dis- 
tance 269 miles. About 8 p.m. an alarm of fire was given and great 
excitement prevailed throughout the ship. This danger was caused by a 
drunken woman in the second cabin, who set fire to her bonnet ; it was 
soon extinguished and the woman put in irons and confined in the 
" black hole " for the night as a warning. 

13th January.— Lat. 42° 58' N., long. 14° 24' W. Wind S.E. Dis- 
tance 286 miles. It is a week to-day since we left Liverpool and con 
sidering that we had two days of contrary winds, two days of calms 
we have made a very favourable run from the land. 

391 



392 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

15th January.— Lat. 89° 42' N.. long. 19° 25' W. Wind S.S.E. 
Distance 202 miles. Ship going 13 knots close-hauled; in the morning 
we passed a ship outward bound with topgallant sails in, while we were 
carrying three royals and main skysail. 

20th January.— Lat. 30° 37' N., long. 19° 24' W. Wind variable. 
Distance 130 miles. At 10 a.m. we sighted a steamer on weather bow, 
homeward bound. In a moment the tables were covered with writing 
desks. At 11 o'clock we neared her and found she was the General 
Screw Co.'s Steamship Calcutta from Australia bound to Southampton, 
69 days out from Melbourne. We sent a boat to her with a bag of 
letters. 

21st January.— Lat. 29° 51' N., long. 19° 56' W. Wind S.S.W. At 
5 p.m. passed a large ship of war with two tiers of guns supposed to be 
H.M.S. Monarch, bound for the Pacific with Admiral Bruce, to replace 
the unfortunate Admiral Price, who shot himself before the attack on 
Petropaulovski. 

24th January.— Lat. 24' 24' N., long. 19° 37' W. Took the N.E. 
trades, very light. 

26th January.— Lat. 22° 07' N.. long. 20° 45' W. Wind N.E., ship 
running 7 knots with smooth sea. A swing was put up on the poop 
to-day for the amusement of the ladies. 

31st January.— Lat. 8° 48' N., long 22° V W. Wind N.N.E. Dis- 
tance 130 miles. At 8 p.m. the ship was thrown into instant confusion 
by the cry of " man overboard." The ship was quickly rounded to, 
the two quarter boats lowered away and after 10 minutes of intense 
anxiety a hearty cheer announced that they had found him. The 
man, who was a second intermediate passenger, could not swim but 
was kept up by a life-buoy. 

1st February.— Lat. 6° 45' N., long. 21° 50' W. Wind N.E. Dis- 
tance 180 miles. Ship running 12 knots before a fresh gale with light 
sails in. At noon the ship was again thrown into a state of alarm by the 
cry of " man overboard." A sailor named John Benson, a Swede, had 
fallen from the jibboom. Lifebuoys were thrown to him and the two 
boats quickly lowered, but the wind blew strong, the sea ran high with 
rain and mist so that it was impossible to see any distance and after 
pulling for nearly an hour they returned with the sad report that they 
could see nothing of him. 

8rd February. — Crossed the equator at 10 p.m. in 23° 9' W., 28 days 
out from Liverpool and 23 from Land's End. Took the S.E. trade and 
lost the favourable north wind this morning. 

9th February.— Lat. 18° 15' S., long. 34° 46' W. Wind S.E. Dis- 
tance 308 miles. This is the best day's work since we left; indeed it is 
the only chance our noble ship has had of displaying her sailing qualities. 



APPENDIX 893 

14 knots upon a bowline with the yards braced sharp up is certainly 
wonderful work and scarcely to be believed if it were not satisfactorily 
proved by the observation of the sun at noon, from which it appears 
we have sailed 308 miles in last 24 hours with a current against us, which 
is always supposed on this coast to run about a knot an hour with the 
wind, making an average of 13 knots an hour, and while going at this 
extraordinary rate she is as dry as possible, seldom shipping a spoonful 
of water. During the greater part of yesterday the carpenter was 
employed on a stage belcw the fore chains, where he worked as easily 
as if it had been calm . 

14th February.— Lat. 3^ 47' S., long. 34° 54' W. Wind N.E. 
Distance 93 miles. Began to run down our easting on a composite circle. 

19th February.— Lat. 41° 41' S., long. 18° 45' W. Wind N.W. 
Distance 310 miles. Ship running 13 and occasionally 15 knots. 

20th February.— Lat. 41° 5' S., long. 16° 34' W. Distance 155 miles. 
At midnight the wind suddenly fiew round from N.E. to S.W. and blew 
a heavy gale. The change was so sudden that we were obliged to run 
before the wind for six hours to get the sails in, which was not done 
without some danger. After taking a reef in the fore and mizen 
topsails we hauled up again to E.S.E. The ship went very easy under 
the reduced sail and as dry as possible, though there was a heavy cross 
sea running. 10 a.m., more moderate, set mainsail and topgallant sails. 
Noon going 15 knots with royals set, yards slightly checked, going by 
the wind. 

21st February.— Lat. 42° 34' S., long. 9° 10' W. Wind South. 
Distance 342 miles. Ship going 15 and occasionally 16 knots with main 
skysail and fore topmxst studding sail set, the yards slightly checked. 

27th February.— Lat. 46° 22' S., long. 26° 15' E. Wind west. 
Distance 390 miles. All night it blew a fresh gale with heavy squalls 
and occasional showers of hail and snow, the sea running high, ship 
running 16 and occasionally 18 knots. During six hours in the morning 
the ship logged 18 knots with royals, main skysail and topgallant 
studding sails set, the wind blowing a fresh gale from the westward. 

28th February.— Lat. 47° 24' S., long. 33° 32' E. Wind N.E. Dis- 
tance 308 miles. At 2 o'clock it blew a hard gale with heavy showers 
of rain and hail. Obliged to keep the ship before the wind while short- 
ening sail. By 7 p.m. sail was taken in and ship laid to under trysail 
and topmast staysail, to prevent her running too far south for fear of 
coming in contact with ice. 

7th March.— Lat. 50° S., long. 68° 44' E. Wind S.W. Distance 
280 miles. 10 a.m., sighted Kerguelen or Desolation Island, passing 
between Fortune Island and Round Island, small rocks about 20 miles 
ofif the mainland. 2 o'clock, abreast Cape St. George. 



894 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

8th March —Lat. 49° 51' S., long. 76° 24' E. Wind N.W. Distance 
296 miles. Ship running with stunsails both sides, high sea. 

9th March.— Lat. 49° 50' S., long. 83° 47' E. Wind N.W. Distance 
284 miles. 

10th March.— Lat. 49° 28' S.. long. 89° 29' E. Wind N.W. Distance 
221 miles. 

11th March.— Lat. 49" 11' S., long. 94° 44' E. Wind N.N.E. Dis- 
tance 325 miles. Midnight, fresh gale. Ship going 17 knots with single 
reefed topsails, foresail, trysail and fore topmast staysail, wind abeam. 

12th March.— Lat. 49° 11' S.. long. 106° 38' E. Wind north. Dis- 
tance 366 miles. Thick weather and small rain. 

13th March.— Lat. 48° 27' S.. long. 114° 16' E. Wind N.E. Dis- 
tance 318 miles. 

19th March.— Lat. 40° 25' S.. long. 143° 23' E. Wind E.S.E. 
Distance 308 miles. 4 p.m.. rounded King's Island. 8 p.m.. sighted 
Cape Otway light bearing W. 18 miles. Stood ofi the land till midnight. 

20th March. — During the night strong gale from East. 1 p.m., 
pilot came aboard, 1.30 p.m., entered Port Phillip Heads. 
Passage of 73 days — Liverpool to Melbourne. 
Passage of 67 days — Land to land. 

The Lightning beat the Red Jacket, Ralph Waller. Eagle, and George 
Waller, which sailed either previous to her or on the same date. 

Second Voyage — Melbourne to Liverpool. 1855. 

11th April. — Early this morning the anchor was weighed and we 
were taken in tow by two steam tugs. Two guns were fired as a signal 
of departure, weather delightful but wind light and right ahead. When 
near the Heads spoke Frederick, of Liverpool, 95 days out. In passing 
she saluted us with two guns, her passengers and crew cheering, a 
courtesy which we returned. Calm for two days, ship only 1 1 miles off 
Port Phillip Heads. 

13th April. — Passed through Bass Straits, Gipsy Bride and other 
vessels in company, 

17th April.— Lat. 46° 12' S.. long. 156° 28' E. Lightning sweeping 
along at 17 and sometimes 18 knots. 

18th April.— Lat. 49° 5' S., long. 162° 60' E. Wind S.W. Distance 
314 miles. Saihng 16 knots an hour, wind steady with heavy cross sea. 
All starboard stunsails set. 

21st April.— Lat. 54° 21' S., long. 175° 45' W. Wind S.S.W. Dis- 
tance 327 miles. 

24th April.— Lat. 58° S., long. 158° 35' W. Wind N.N.E. • Distance 



APPENDIX 895 

285 miles. Sailing 14 knots close-hauled. P.M., heavy head gale, 
royals, skysails, jib and spanker in, ship pitching heavily. 

26th April.— Lat. 58'' 7' S., long. 150° 49' W. Calm. Distance 79 
miles. During night heavy snow squalls. 

1st May.— Lat. 58° 53' S.. long. 112° 25' W. Wind E.N.E. Sailing 
8 knots an hour by the wind. Sighted an iceberg 100 ft. high, 8 miles 
distant. 

6th May— Lat. 64° 48' S., long. 100° 44' W. Wind E.N.E. to E.S.E., 
strong gale. Took in foresail and single reefed the topsails. (This was the 
only occasion during the paseage on whicfi the topsails were reefed.) 

8tb May.— Lat. 55° 56' S., long. 85° 48' W. Wind north. Distance 
294 miles. Skysails and staysails in and slab-reefed courses. 

10th May.— Lat. 58° 12' S.. long. 69° 49' W. Wind N.N.W. Dis- 
tance 316 miles. 10 p.m., Cape Horn north 100 miles. 

17th May.— Lat. 44° 37' S., long. 64° 31' W. Going at the rate of 
12 to 14 knots and wind right aft which caused the ship to roll very 
much. About 3 p.m. a heavy shower of snow was hailed with delight 
by the passengers. Our captain transferred his command from the 
Black Ball to the White Ball Line and first commenced snow-balling. 
Fierce and fast grew the conflict, the ship helping many a valiant snow- 
baller to a seat on her slippery decks. At 4 we saw an American clipper 
standing eastward under close-reefed topsails. 

1st June. — Crossed the equator at midnight in 30° W. Visit of 
Neptune in the evening. Neptune made his appearance accompanied by 
his wife Amphitrite. Their Majesties were received with the usual 
honours, all the company standing up and the band playing " Rule 
Britannia." Neptune was dressed in the uniform of a Line regiment, 
sea-green turned up with cerulean blue. His wife's hair plaited in the 
most tasteful manner nearly touched her feet, swabbing the decks as 
she walked along. Neptune put the usual questions to our gallant 
commander and having received satisfactory replies, his Majesty^ 
leanmg upon his three-pronged toaster, made a circuit of the deck, while 
the (air Amphitrite in passing made a most condescending bow to the 
Queen of Beauty, who was supported on the arm of Aesculapius, and at 
this piece of condescension dropped her large blue eyes and looked 
:onfused. The salt of the briny element seemed to have excited the 
thirst of Amphitrite and her attendants, which the Chief Justice en 
deavoured to quench by draughts from the cup that cheers but inebriates. 
Neptune having taken the pledge when he visited certain other parts 
of his dominions would not put the hideous beverage to his lips. The 
Gods and Goddesses then delighted the company by their vocal melodies 
and finally descended to their chariot, which went off with tire and 
smoke. 



896 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

4th June.— Lat. 6° 30' N.. long. 30° 1 1' W. Took the N.E. trades. 

28th June. — Four passengers and a number of letters landed off 
Kinsale. 

29th June. — 11 a.m., taken in tow by steam tug Dreadnought. 
Anchored in Liverpool at 11 p.m. 79 days out. Since passing the 
Horn it had been a light weather passage, the moonsail only being 
lowered on two occasions and the lower deck ports only shut once. 

Third Voyage. 

The Lightning's third voyage was an unfortunate one. On her 
arrival home in June, 1855, Messrs. James Baines & Co., whether at 
Captain Enright's suggestion or not, I do not know, had her hollow bow 
filled in with deadwood, an action which caused her designer to refer 
to them as the " wood-butchers of Liverpool," though in the light of 
modern knowledge in ship designing they were undoubtedly right, as 
hollow lines for sailing ships have long been proved a mistake. 

Unfortunately, however, the blocking in of the bows was not strongly 
enough done, and one day when she was close-hauled on the starboard 
tack in the South Atlantic, this false bow, as it was called, was washed 
away, leaving its frame and ribs bare. This, though in no way affecting 
the seaworthiness of the Lightning, spoilt her sailing, and what promised 
to be an excellent passage ran to 81 days. 

In Australia the bow was repaired, but the accident frightened 
would-be passengers, as the Government surveyors in Melbourne refused 
to give her a certificate and she also lost a lot of freight. 

Liverpool to Melbourne, 1855. 

Wednesday. 5th September. — About 3 o'clock this afternoon, amid 
the booming of cannon, the sad and solemn strains of the band and the 
cheers of the passengers, our gallant ship was taken in tow by the tug 
Rattler. The commencement of our voyage is marked with a fair wind, 
so that the captain is determined to proceed without the aid of a tug. 
Accordingly at 7.30 the pilot left us and we bade him a cheering farewell. 
In the evening several songs were sung for " Each sail was set, and each 
heart was gay." 

Thursday, 6th September. — At 2 a.m. we passed Holyhead, going 
from 7 to 7i knots, and Bardsey at 9. At 3 p.m. we were abreast of 
Tuskar. The ship is gliding along under an astonishing cloud of canvas, 
with stunsails alow and aloft. In the evening the band played several 
tunes; many of the passengers ventured on a polka and other dances 
with spirit. 

Friday. 7th September. — The light breeze of past two days died away 
at 4 this morning, leaving us becalmed. Happily the weather is de- 
lightful with dear sky and brilliant sun. The sea has the api)earance 



APPENDIX 897 

of an immense sheet of glass. All parties are on deck so that the 
promenades are inconveniently crowded. 

Tuesday. 11th September. — About 11 a.m. we passed on the port 
side close to a Neapolitan brig, which put us in mind of Noah's Ark. 
She was going ahead about one knot and drifting two, with a fine breeze 
that would have enabled a ship of any other nation to carry all sail, 
while these sea-lubbers rolled along under double-reefed topsails and 
furled mainsail. Lat. 44° 9' N., long. 12° 5' W. Distance run 206 
miles. 

Thursday. 18tb September. — About 7 this morning we exchanged 
colours with a ship steering our course." At 12 she was but a white 
speck on the horizon and at 3 she was lost to sight. 

Thursday. 20th September. — About 8 a.m. we sighted a vessel right 
ahead about 10 miles distant and at 2 p.m. we were almost within 
speaking distance. She proved to be the barque A raquita, from England 
bound to Rio Janeiro. At 6, such was our speed, she was lost to sight. 
At 3.30 entered Tropic of Cancer. 

Monday. 24th September.— Lat. 14° 10' N.. long. 28° 14' W. Dis- 
tance 78 miles. Early this afternoon we sighted the schooner Gleam, 
from Accra, on the Guinea Coast, bound to London. At 5 p.m. a boat 
was lowered and in command of Mr. Bartlett, the chief officer, accom- 
panied by a few of the saloon passengers, proceeded to the Gleam, 
conveying a large number of letters and Lightning Gazettes for home. 
A small present of fresh meat and potatoes was also put on board and 
gratefully received. On the return of the boat we learned she was 47 
days out and crossed the line 19 days ago. 

Tuesday. 25th September.— Lat. 12° 14' N., long. 28° 1' W. Dis- 
tance 117 miles. In the forenoon we exchanged colours with the brig 
Favorite, from Buenos Ayres to Liverpool. Shortly afterwards we 
passed a Danish brigantine and a Hamburg vessel. 

Friday, 28th September.— Lat. 9° 53' N., long. 28° 5' W. Distance 
33 miles. At 6 a.m. a boat visited us from the Evening Star, of Portland, 
from the Chincha Islands bound to Cork for orders. 

Friday, 5th October- — Crossed the equator. 

Monday. 15th October.— Lat. 24° 7' S.. long. 29° 59' W. Distance 
255 miles. Ship sweeping along at the rate of 14^ knots. 

Tuesday. 16th October.— Lat. 24° 5' S.. long. 25° 50' W. Distance 
225 miles. About 9 a.m. a considerable portion of the false bow on the 
larboard side was suddenly carried away. 

Sunday. 21st October.— Lat. 36° 4' S.. long. 24° 62' W. Distance 
238 miles. At 5 p.m. sighted a large ship on our weather quarter, 
sailing under double-reefed topsails, and we apprehend they must have 



898 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

taken us for the Flying Dutchman seen occasionally in these latitudes, 
for notwithstanding the strong breeze we would be observed carrying 
our skysails with studding sails 'low and aloft, 

Monday. 22nd October.— Lat. 38° 24' S., long. 19° 21' W. Distance 
300 miles. 

Tuesday. 23rd October.-— Lat. 39° 22' S.. long. 12° 32' W. Distance 
325 miles. At 9 a.m. during a sudden squall, carried away our starboard 
fore topmast stunsail boom — a splendid Oregon spar, which was carried 
right over the larboard bow. 

Saturday, 17th November.— Lat. 48° 00' S.. long. 121° 15' E. Dis- 
tance 324 miles. The wind changed during the night to W.N.W., still 
blowing a fresh breeze with every sail set. 

Sunday, 26th November. — Sail was shortened at midnight and 
Bowman Head Lighthouse sighted at 3 a.m. Shortly afterwards hove 
to for a pilot and as his boat came near, at 4.30, every glass in her was 
levelled in astonishment at the bare ribs of our false bow. After getting 
inside the Heads, we again hove to and landed the Geelong mail. At 
10 a.m. met the James Baines homeward bound and hove to to comhiuni- 
cate with her. Captain McDonald came on board and we had the 
pleasure of sending letters and papers home. At 1 p.m. we were at 
anchor with sails furled and the Melbourne mail landed. We had the 
misfortune to come into port with a broken bow which impeded our 
progress not less on the average than 3 knots an hour for upwards of 
9000 miles. On the last voyage we were going 17 knots, on the present 
with the same wind only 14 — owing to the accident. 

Third Voyage — Melbourne to Liverpool. 

Friday, 28th December. — At 8 a.m. we got outside the bar at Port 
Phillip Heads, when the agents and a few friends left in the pilot boat. 
From the captain of the latter we learned the sad inteMigence of the loss 
of the Schomberg, off Cape Otway. The clipper ship Blackwall was 
sighted right ahead of us at the same moment, and at 10.30 we had the 
satisfaction of overhauling her. At 7 p.m. she was barely visible on the 
horizon. (The Blackwall was one of Green's frigate-built Indiamen.) 

Friday. 4th January. 1856.— Lat. 56° 34' S., long. 177° 14' W. 
Distance 334 miles. Wind S.W. Run for the week 1908 miles. 

Wednesday. 9th January.— Lat. 58° 32' S., long. 136° 06' W. Dis- 
tance 311 miles. Wind S.W. During the middle watch 7 icebergs 
were seen, some very large. During morning several more sighted. 
Snow fell during the day. 

Monday. 14th January.— Lat. 57° 48' S., long. 93° 08' W. Distance 
330 miles. Wind S.S.E., cold, with showers of snow and hail. Sighted 
two larare icebergs on starboard bow. 



APPENDIX 399 

(28th December- 15th January Lightning ran 5244 knots in 18 days, 
an average of 12 knots on a direct course from Melbourne to Cape 
Horn.) 

Sunday, 20th January. — At 6 a.m. Cape Horn in sight, 25 miles 
distant. 

Tuesday, 29th January.— Lat. 35° 00' S., long. 33° 15' W. Distance 
300 miles. Wind east. Heavy cross sea and rattling breeze all night. 
Ship pitching very heavily and going at rate of 15 or 1 6 knots. At 1 p.m. 
spoke Aberdeen clipper ship Centurion, from Sydney bound to London, 
46 days out. She passed during the nigh^t the White Star ship Emma, 
of Liverpool, with Melbourne mail of 10th December. We have beaten 
the Centurion 16 days and the Emma 18. 

Friday, 1st February. — Spoke the mail ship Emma. 

Sunday, 17th February. — Crossed the equator at 8.30 a.m. 

Tuesday, 26th February. — In the forenoon carpenter fell from the 
stage on which he was working on the starboard side and immediately 
the appalling cry of " man overboard " ! echoed through the ship. 
O' tfl^'iiig to the surface of the water, he passed his hatchet over the 
foe sheet and held on until assistance was tendered. 

Wednesday, 5th March.— Lat. 42° 30' N.. long. 25° 33' W. Distance 
181 miles. In forenoon sighted large vessel on lee bow under reefed 
topsails, whilst we carried royals with ease. 

Friday, 14th March.— Lat. 50° 43' N., long. 14° 36' W. Distance 
174 miles. Wind S.S.E. At 6 a.m. sighted two vessels on starboard, 
another on port bow. Ship put about at 8 a.m. Shortly after a 
schooner to windward of us. At 10.30 a.m. passed close to ship Henry 
Fulton, of New York, under close-reefed topsails and on opposite tack. 
During the day the wind blew with great violence from S.S.E. Towards 
evening it increased to a perfect gale. Every stitch of canvas that 
could be carried with safety was kept on until Captain Enright thought 
it full time to stow the topgallant sails and single reef the 
topsails and mainsail, which was done at 8 p.m. At midnight the 
foresail was also single-reefed— 

Saturday, 15th March.— Lat. 61° 52' N., long. 12° 23' W. Distance 
107 miles. Gale continued from S.S.E. during the night, splitting the 
fore topsail in two. At 9 a.m. hove to under a double-reefed fore sail and 
close-reefed main topsail. 

Sunday, 16th March. — Passed a longboat keel up. 

Tuesday, 18th March.— Wind S.S.E. Course full and by. Made the 
Skellig Rocks. 

Wednesday, 19th March. — Becalmed; nine vessels surrounding us. A 
couple of schooner* close to and our starboard boat was lowered under 



400 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Mr. Bartlett. On its return we learned one was the Fashion, 35 days 
from Antigua, the other the Breeze, of Wexford, from Athens, 73 days 
out and short of provisions, her crew subsisting on wheat which they 
ground. Kinsale Head light plainly discernible all night. 

Thursday, 20th March. — Still becalmed, a large number of vessels in 
all directions. Visited by Cork pilot boat which landed a number of 
passengers and portion of the mail at Castlehaven. Learnt that 60 or 80 
sail started from Crookhaven on previous day, all of which had been 
detained by same head winds. 

Saturday, 22nd March. — 10.30 p.m., tug made fast. 

Sunday, 23rd March. — Arrived after a passage of 86 days against 
head winds and calms. 

THE RUN. 

From Melbourne to Cape Horn . . 22 days. 

„ Cape Horn to Equator . . 29 „ 

„ Equator to Fayal - . . 14 „ 

„ Western Isles to Liverpool . . 21 „ 

.uD 
A TABLE OF WINDS. 

Fair Winds Light Winds Calms Head Winds. 
26 days 19 days 17 days 24 days. 

Fourth Voyage — Liverpool to Melbourne, 1856. 

Tuesday, 6th May. — At noon the signal gun was fired, our anchor 
weighed and we proceeded in tow of our old friend, the Rattler. At 3 p.m 
pilot left. At 4.30 cast off steamer and set all sail. At 5.20 p.m. passed 
Point Lynas, the Skerries at 8, Holyhead at 9, and Bardsey at midnight. 

Thursday, 8th May.— Lat. 47** 08' N., long. 10° 44' W. Distance 
274 miles. At noon passed ship Dauntless, sailing similar course to 
our own. 

Wednesday. 14th May.— Lat. 33° 39' N.. long. 20° 30' W. Distance 
310 miles. 

Monday, 26th May. — Crossed the line in long. 31 

Saturday. 21st June— Lat. 38° 63' S.. long. 5° 
miles. 

Sunday, 22nd June.— Lat. 40° 07' S., long 13° 
miles. 

Saturday, 2Sth June.— Lat. 44° 25' S., long 42° 58' E. Distance 
232 miles. Wind increasing; whilst taking in lighter canvas, mizen 
royal and mizen topmast staysail were torn to pieces. P.M., reefs were 
taken in topsails. Ship running under foresail and reefed topsails. 






40' 


W. 


r 


E. 


Distance 253 


V 


' E. 


Distance 346 



APPENDIX 401 

Sunday. 29th June — Lat. 43° 36' S., long. 50° 07' E. Distance 312 
miles. 

Monday, 30th June.— Lat. 44° 02' S.. long. 56° 35' E. Distance 281 
miles. 

Tuesday. 1st July.— Lat. 44" 39' S.. long. 63' 27' E. Distance 298 
miles. 

Wednesday. 2nd J»ly.— Lat. 45° 07' S.. long. 70^ 55' E. Distance 

319 miles. 

Thursday, 3rd July.— Lat. 45° 07' S., long. 79=* 55' E. Distance 382 
miles. Her run to-day has been only once surpassed since she floated. 

Friday, 4th July.—Lat. 45° 07' S.. long. 88° 30' E. Distance 364 
miles. Our week's work of 2188 miles has been the best the Lightning 
has ever accomplished. 

Friday. 11th July.—Lat. 45° 47' S.. long. 128° 25' E. Distance 326 
miles. During the night our speed averaged 16 knots an hour. At 
4 p.m., split our mainsail and carried away two jibs. 

Monday, 14th July. — This morning at 7 a.m. our ears were saluted 
with the welcome sounds of " Land Ho ! " At 8 a.m. we had a fine view 
of Cape Otway Lighthouse. As the depth of water on the bar was not 
sufficient to enable us to proceed up the Bay, we came to anchor under 
the lee of the land. We found the Champion of the Seas anchored at 
some little distance from us, waiting for a favourable wind to proceed to 
sea. Sailing time from port to port, 68 days 10 hours. 

Melbourne to Liverpool. 

Wednesday, 27th August. — By 10 a.m. we were fairly underweigh. 
On approaching the mouth of the Bay a farewell salute of six guns was 
fired. The wind dropped and we were obliged to anchor inside Port 
Phillip Heads at 6 p.m. 

Thursday, 28th August. — Cleared the Heads at 10.30 a.m. and at 
11 a.m. the pilot left us. We passed Lake Liptrap about 9 p.m. and 
shortly afterwards carried away our port fore topmast studding sail 
boom, by which accident two men stationed at the look-out had a 
narrow escape of losing their lives. 

Sunday, 31st August.— Lat. 46° 30' S., long. 158° 46' E. Distance 
313 miles. Wind strong from N.W. We have been going 15 and 18 
knots, astonishing all on board, particularly those passengers who have 
hitherto sailed in London clippers. 

Monday, 1st September.— Lat. 49° 39' S., long. 166° 35' E. Distance 
366 miles. Thick weather and drizzling rain, sun obscured. At 6 p.m. 
breakers on the lee (starboard) bow were unexpectedly observed, which 
by some at first were supposed to be icebergs ; they soon, however, 
appeared to be rocks and high land loomed darkly in the background. 



402 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

The ship was immediately hauled to the wind, when a bold bluff 
appeared through the fog on the weather bow. The helm was then put 
down and, contrary to the expectations of all on board, our ship came 
round; when all sails were trimmed she headed to clear the rocks. But 
the wind having fallen light and a heavy sea rolling towards the shore. 
a fearful period of suspense ensued. Thanks to the wonderful powers 
of our noble ship, she gathered headway and gradually passed the 
weathermost rocks. The prompt and cool conduct of our worthy 
captain, his officers and men cannot be too highly praised, as the 
smallest error or delay in the issue and execution of the order would 
have involved the certain destruction of the ship. On getting clear of 
the danger, the captain informed us that the rocks were the Bristows, 
off Enderby's Island, near the Aucklands. 

(Captain Enright allowed 40 miles for the usual southerly set, but, 
as the occasion proved, this was not enough.) 

Tuesday. 9th September.— Lat 55° 08' S., long. 148° 56' W. Dis- 
tance 208 miles. Wind increasing, ship scudding at 16 and 17 knots 
with all studding sails alow and aloft set. 

Wednesday, 10th September.— Lat. 55° 33' S., long. 138° 33' W. 
Distance 355 miles. During the night our fore and main topgallant 
stunsails were split and also the main skysail, which was immediately 
unbent and replaced by a new one. Wind veering from W. to W.S.W., 
very cold with sleet showers. At 9 a.m. an iceberg was sighted right 
ahead. It was measured by Mr. Bartlett and found to be 420 feet high. 

Wednesday. 17th September.— Lat. 57° 18' S., long. 83° 28' W. 
Distance 328 miles. The ship rolled much as she scudded under her top- 
sails and courses with, at times only, the fore and main topgallant sails. 
We all know it must blow hard before our main royal and mizen 
topgallant sail are furled. 

Thursday. 18th September.— Lat. 57° 35' S., long. 74^ 48' W. Dis- 
tance 377 miles. 

Friday, 19th September. — At 11.15 a.m. on the meridian of Cape 
Horn. Distant 69 miles. Saw three ships beating to windward. 
Exchanged signals with the Patriot King. 

Wednesday. 24th September.— Lat. 47° 21' S., long. 47° 05' W. 
Distance 227 miles. Squally with rain, but all sail carried bravely — even 
Uttle " bull-dog " up on the main skysail mast. Ship going 14 knots and 
sometimes 15 in the squalls. 

Thursday. 25th September.— Lat. 44° 40' S., long. 41° 43' W. Dis- 
tance 278 miles. All sail set including topmast, topgallant and royal 
studding sails, in all 29 sails. Afternoon, the moonsail was sent up and 
set as the 30th. 

Thursday. 9th October.— Crossed the line in 28° 20' W. 

{Lightning's average 238 miles daily.) 



APPENDIX 408 

Tuesday, 14th October.— Lat. 8° 12' N., long. 28" 00' W. Distance 
52 miles. At daylight two vessels in sight on the other tack, one a 
large ship with three skysails set, the other a brig. At 7 a.m. tacked 
ship to N.E. Signalised the ship, which proved to be an American, 
the Tornado; the brig was thought to be a Spaniard. About 11, the 
clouds and mist enveloped our neighbours, who presently emerged with 
a fair southerly wind, although only distant about 5 miles, while we 
retained our northerly wind. For a time all was uncertainty and doubt 
which wind would gain the day, but when the vessels came close up to 
us, bringing with them heavy rain and puffs of wind, we trimmed yards 
and soon were rushing through the water at the rate of 10 knots: anon 
all was calm and the sails flapped. Again we saw our American com- 
panion staggering under a heavy squall, which split his fore topgallant sail 
and main topmast staysail, and caused his masts to buckle like fishing 
rods: we had plenty more rain but did not catch the strength of the 
squall. There was great shortening sail and making sail, for the Yankee 
was going by us, distant about 2 miles on our starboard side; meanwhile 
the little brig, with a more steady and strong breeze of his own, came 
close up on our port quarter. Then again all was lulled. The interval 
presented an opportunity of further signalling, and the following 
questions and answers were made. 

Lightning — " Where are you from and bound to ? " 

Tornado — " Callao and Cape Hatteras." 

Lightning — " We are from Melbourne." 

Tornado — " How many days are you out? " 

Lightning — " Forty-seven." 

At which answer Tornado seemed surprised and although we had 
previously shown our number, again asked: — " What ship is that ? " 

We answered: — 

Lightning — " How many days are you out? " 

Tornado — " Fifty-six." 

We then exchanged the courtesy of hoisting and dipping ensigns. 

It was then about 4 o'clock, and for nearly an hour there was nothing 
but " box-hauUng " the yards, when suddenly Jonathan caught a 
breeze and crept up alongside, and seemed very much inclined to pass 
us. All possible sail was set and trimmed most carefully but still 
Tornado gained, and all was anxiety and excitement. At last the 
strength of the breeze came to us, and for a few minutes there was a 
most exciting race, some even feared that we were going to be beaten; 
but the Lightning showed her wonted superiority, our antagonist dropped 
astern, and a hearty cheer from us announced our victory. The wind 
then fell light again, and twice freshened and caused the same capital 
match; but the Tornado, though evidently a first-rate sailer — being 
one of the early Californian clippers — could not manage us; and, as the 



404 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

night closed in, and the breeze became more steady, we gradually bid 
him good-bye. 

Wednesday, 15th October.— Lat. 9" 27' N.. long. 27° 45' W. Distance 
77 miles. Our American friend kept in sight until sunset. 

16th-19th October.— N.E. trades. 

20th-28th October. — Doldrums. The Lightning only averaged 65 
miles a day for nine days. 

Wednesday. 29th October.— Lat. 28" 31' N.. long. 35* 39' W. Dis- 
tance 108 miles. At 4 a.m. a light breeze sprang up from the norrard. 
6.30 a.m., spoke a large American ship, the Clarendon, from Malta to 
New Orleans. 8 a.m., going 7 knots, almost a " dead on end " wind, 
but any wind at all is a change. Passed a brig to leeward and are 
overhauling three ships, which are ahead standing on the same tack. 
About 3 p.m., passed the Cid, of Hambro, a very pretty little clipper 
barque. 

Thursday, 30th October. — 7 a.m., tacked ship to N.N.W. A large 
ship in sight went about at the same time, ahead of us. During forenoon 
Captain Enright expressed himself confident that she was the James 
Baines. Great excitement and numerous conjectures, bets, etc. One 
thing certain that she sailed almost as fast as ourselves, and her rigging 
and sails were similar to those of the Baines. By sunset we had both 
weathered and gained on our companion. 

(The ship was the James Baines and I have already described the 
encounter between the two Black Bailers.) 

Wednesday, 5th November.— Lat. 36" 30' N., long. 36" 11' W. Dis- 
tance 165 miles. (Distance made since 9th October 2219 miles or 
76| miles daily.) During the night the wind suddenly shifted, catching 
the ship all aback; in the first puff the fore topmast stunsail boom was 
carried away. Passed a three-masted schooner steering to the west- 
ward, she showed an English Ensign, but from her rig appeared more 
like an American. She had no foresail or mainsail, but large main and 
mizen staysails, and a host of other staysails, square-rigged forward; 
was about 300 tons. 

Friday, 7th November. — The islands of Pico. Fayal, etc.. in sight. 

Tuesday. 18th November.— Lat. 5V 04' N., long. 6° 43' W. Distance 
202 miles. 

Wednesday, 19th November. — 1.30 a.m.. Smalls Rocks light bore 
E.N.E. 

Thursday. 20th November. — At 4.30 p.m., Mr. W. Harris, pilot, came 
on board and took charge off Cape Lynas. 



APPENDIX 405 

SUMMARY OF PASSAGE. 

Melbourne to Cape Horn . . 24 days 1 6 hours 

Cape Horn to Equator .. 19 „ 8 ,, 

Equator to Pico, Azores . . 29 „ „ 

Western Isles to Liverpool . . 1 1 „ „ 

WINDS. 

Fair Winds Light Winds Calms Head Winds 
32 days 23 days 4 days 24 days 

Fifth Voyage — Liverpool to Melbourne, 1857. 

Thursday, 5th February. — After a little delay the tender brought 
all off safely to the Lightning, and the passengers were mustered and 
answered to their names to the Government inspector. A minister 
from the shore gave a parting address and about 4 p.m. the Lightning 
began her voyage to Australia in tow of the steam tug Rattler, (or 
unfortunately the wind was dead ahead. 

Saturday. 14th February.— Lat. 38° 38' N.. long. 15° 59' W. Distance 
127 miles. Fresh stores were being brought up from the mainhold 
when a barrel of vinegar fell from a considerable height upon Abraham 
Le Seur and injured him severely on the back. He was second mate to 
Captain Enright 18 years ago. 

Tuesday, 24th February.— Lat. 12° 01' N.. long. 23° 27' W. Distance 
268 miles In the evening our friend Mr. Taylor paid a visit to the 
mizen royal yard — much to the consternation of the ladies. He relieved, 
what we suppose he felt was the monotony of the descent, by descending 
by the preventer brace. If Mr. Taylor will allow us to advise, we 
would say " Very well done, but don't do it again for it is a thing which 
the ladies cannot abide." 

Tuesday. 3rd March.— Lat. 0° 30' N., long. 26° 39' W. Distance 
53 miles. In the evening received a visit from Neptune. He evidently 
keeps himself well acquainted with what goes on on Terra Firma, 
for his fifer played him the well-known tunes of " Villikens and his 
Dinah " and " Jim along Josey," as a triumphal march. It struck us 
his marine chargers were a little out of condition and one of them had 
put on the outward resemblance of a donkey. After being regaled 
with our poor creature comforts, the old fellow very shabbily took 
himself off without our letters. 

Saturday, 7th March. — Last night we passed within 25 miles of 
Pernambuco. 

Wednesday. 11th March.— Lat. 24° 03' S., long. 35° 40' W. Distance 
213 miles. In a squall this evening we made 14 or 15 knots, and that 
on a wind. 



406 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

Sunday. 15th March.— Lat. 38° 47' S., long. 30° 58' W. Distance 
311 miles. We have been making 16 knots often during the night. 

Monday, 16th March.— Lat. 41° 08' S., long. 24° 23' W. Distance 
334 miles. Wind fell light in the afternoon. 

Wednesday. 18th March.— Lat. 42° 34' S.. long. 17° 04' W. Distance 
200 miles. The wind increases towards evening and we make from 
15 to 17 knots an hour, yet the ship is so steady that we danced on the 
poop with the greatest ease. 

Thursday. 19th March.— Lat. 43** 0' S., long. 7° 17' W. Distance 
430 miles. It is very wet and there is a heavy sea on. In the middle 
of the day the wind lulled a bit, then turned over to the starboard 
quarter and set to work snoring again as hard as ever. 

Friday, 20th March.— Lat. 43° 0' S., long. 0° 55' E. Distance 360 
miles. This weather is most inspiriting, we have made during the last 
47 hours the greatest run that perhaps ship ever made; yet all the time 
we have carried our main skysail and all sorts and conditions of stunsails. 

Saturday. 21st March.— Lat. 43° 03' S., long. 7** 67' E. Distance 
308 miles. The sea to-day has been really magnificent, the waves were 
grand and swept along in majestic lines. In the afternoon our weekly 
concert took place in the after saloon. 

Sunday, 22nd March.— Lat. 43° 51' S., long. 15° 51' E. Distance 
348 miles. (1446 miles in four days, an average of 361 i miles per day.) 

Friday. 27th March.— Lat. 44° 38' S., long. 35° 36' E. Distance 152 
miles. About 2 p.m. a sail was just visible on the port bow. We very 
soon overhauled her, made her out to be a fine American clipper barque, 
passed her as if she was at anchor, although she was going 10 knots at 
least and by 4 o'clock she was almost out of sight astern. 

Thursday, 2nd April.— Lat. 46° 11' S., long. 70° 40' E. Distance 
328 miles. To-night the wind freshened considerably and the sea got 
up with it. Our main royal sheet and sundry stunsail tacks parted. 

Friday, 3rd April.— Lat. 47° 14' S., long. 79° 22' E. Distance 364 
miles. Wind blew strongly from the north, sea high; during the night 
main topsail, main topgallant stunsail and main royal sheets carried 
away. 

Sunday, 6th April.— Lat. 45° 54' S., long. 93° 31' E. Distance 326 
miles. Yesterday afternoon the fore topmast stunsail boom snapped 
like a carrot, the sail shook itself to pieces, then its yard dashed through 
the main topgallant sail, tore it, then tore a large hole in the main topsail. 

Monday, 6th April.— Lat. 45° 34' S., long. 99° 40' E. Distance 260 
miles. A fine day with the wind still dead aft. The sea is not so high as 
was yesterday, but the rolling of the ship brings it often very near our 
ports. The Lightning is, however, a very dry ship, and it is extraordin- 



APPENDIX 407 

ary how few seas we have shipped. She rolled tremendously last night, 
her feelings appeared to be hurt, for she creaked piteously. 

Thursday, 9th April.— Lat. 45° 34' S., long. 118° 03' E. Distance 
302 miles. The spanker boom broke adrift and tore a large piece out of 
the starboard rail to the eminent peril of every person on deck, but also 
of the printing office of the Lightning Gazette. 

Wednesday, 15th April.— 7 a.m., Cape Otway bore N. 4|° E., 30 miles. 
About 10 we signalised the William Miles on the other tack. We have 
run from the Hne to Cape Otway in 35 days 15 hours — 9449 miles. 

Thursday, 16th April. — Entered Port Phillip Heads at 8 a.m., having 
completed the passage in 69 days 6 hours. 

Melbourne to Liverpool, 1857. 

Saturday, 9th May. — We came on board the good ship Lightning and 
find her busily preparing for her journey, with steamers and lighters 
alongside, discharging their contents on to her decks. Passengers, 
their friends and luggage all pouring on board, amidst the noises of the 
sailors, the cackling and crowing of poultry innumerable, the squeaking 
of pigs and the occasional altercations of watermen; while, at the 
after end of the vessel, may be observed sundry small sealed boxes, 
many of them seemingly of ponderous weight, being lowered into their 
place of safety and containing the precious metal that has made 
Australia so famous. 

Sunday, 10th May. — Got underweigh at 7 o'clock with the assistance 
of two steam tugs and slowly moved from Hobson's Bay. Wind light 
and calm. At dusk we anchored off the Lightship. 

Monday, 11th May. — Got away from our anchorage at daybreak and 
proceeded for the Heads, saluting with a gun the Morning Glory in 
quarantine, as we passed her. Got clear of Port Phillip Heads at 8 
o'clock, with wind barely sufficient to move the ship. Several barra- 
coutas were caught in the evening, 

Tuesday, 12th May. — Head winds and very light. Cape Otway 
visible on our starboard bow. In the evening quite becalmed with the 
Otway light on starboard quarter. 

Thursday, 14th May.— Lat. 44° 9' S., long. 145° 57' E. Distance 270 
miles. Dashing along at 14 to 16 knots with a fine fair wind. S.W. 
coast of Tasmania visible through the gloom on our port beam. 

Friday, 15th May.— Lat. 46° 55' S., long. 154° 10' E. Distance 384 
miles. Strong breezes and heavy seas with rain squalls and occasional 
glimpses of sunshine. During one of the squalls our fore topsail was 
split and for some time after dark the crew were busy bending a new one. 

Saturday, 30th May.— Lat. 61° 66' S.. long. 126° 34' W. Distance 



408 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

260 miles. We are now 18 days from Port Phillip Heads, and have 
experienced two days calm, two days westerly winds and for 14 days 
the winds have been from E.S.E. and S. The last 10 days we have 
sailed close to the wind. She makes no more water in a storm than she 
does in a calm. 

Thursday. 11th June.— Lat. 56" 40' S.. long. 67° 12' W. Distance 
170 miles. About midday we were about 50 miles to south of Cape 
Horn. In the evening the wind changed round to N.E. and blew 
with great fury, and we had to lay to under single-reefed fore and main 
topsail. I believe it may with truth be said that few vessels have had 
a more trying passage to the Horn than our good ship Lightning. On 
our clearing Port Phillip Heads, the winds were light and baffling from 
the east, compelling us to take the western passage round Van Dieman's 
Land. Shortly after we encountered a heavy gale from the south, 
during which we were at one time reduced to close-reefed main topsail 
and main trysail, the ship behaving nobly. After this the wind headed 
us and continued to blow from S. by E. to S.E. by E. for space of 23 days, 
during which time we ran 4237 miles from long. 160° E. to 84° W., 
rendering it quite impossible to get further to the south than 54°, keeping 
us between the parallels of 51° and 54°, blowing very heavy — reducing 
our canvas at times to close-reefed topsails and courses. During all 
this, our noble ship behaved admirably, making, as our parallel of 
siiiling will prove, very little leeway. This is the fifth trip the writer 
has made round the Horn in less than four years, in various ships, and 
it is not saying too much when he states that he does not believe any 
one of them would have made the distance in the same time, having the 
same difficulties to contend with. It has been done in the short space 
of 31 days, in the face of unprecedented difficulties as the following short 
summary will show. 

Calms and Light Winds, 3 days; Variable, 3 days; From S.W. to N.W., 
2 days; From S. by E. to S.E. by E., 23 days. Total 31 days. 

On the 2nd May, 1855, the writer sailed from Port Phillip in the 
Red Jacket and reached Cape Horn in 34 days, but without one day's 
check from head winds. 

Sunday, 14th June. — Staten Island in sight to eastward. A sail 
visible on lee bow, steering same course as ourselves. At 11 o'clock 
came up to her and spoke the American ship Aspasia, of Mystic, from 
California for New York. 

Wednesday. 1st July.— Lat. 12° 44' S., long. 37° 30' W. Distance 192 
miles. At 9 a.m. we were opposite Bahia and later in the day the land 
was just visible. 

Monday, 6th July.— Lat. 0° 45' N„ long. 32° 23' W. Distance 258 
miles. At 7 a.m. crossed the line. 



APPENDIX 409 

Wednesday. 16th July — Lat. 24° 59' N., long. 45" 22' W. Distance 
300 miles. The wind keeps steady and strong. 

Tuesday, 21st July.— Lat. 40° 57' N.. long. 38° 25' W. Distance 
254 miles. Wind S.W., a strong breeze, running before it with stunsails 
set on both sides at rate of 10 to 12 knots. The 'tween deck passengers 
presented the baker (Mr. W. Grainger) with an address to-day, thanking 
him for his attention to their comfort. 

Friday. 31st July. — At 9.30 a.m.. Land Ho ! Ould Ireland is in 
sight. At 6 p.m. passed the Tuskar. Wind right aft. 

THE RUN. 

From Melbourne to Cape Horn 
„ Cape Horn to Equator 
„ Equator to Azores . . 
„ Azores to Liverpool 



76 days on the starboard tack. 
Longest run in 24 hours . . 
Shortest run in 24 hours . . 
Best week's run, 1 1th to 17th July 



31 days 


26 .. 


15 ,. 


11 .. 


82 days. 


384 miles 


26 „ 



410 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



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t^OJOOt'lN-^iOCOOJfNf-^ 

t^Tf4Tt<0^0>>OlO-*OOC<l 



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O CO O O 00 ^ 
<N CO CO U5 Tj( CD 



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CO 6 

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<i d ►-^"li ^' w w ;£ 



lie § 

p a O ^ S pq ^ O C^ Q s 



w *> S. o 3 t« 









fto • 



^ 



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■•s^'S^ S ^ 2 "^ 

►3 ^3 3 ft^ «i^ o H o 




•3 6 o « V ^ « « -S ?: o 



-►s.'ii.rii 



APPENDIX 



413 



fc V 





Thompson & Co. 
General Shipping Co. 

J. Smith " 
A. Nicol & Co. 
Glasgow Shipping Co 
G. Thomson & Sons 
Devitt 8c Moore 
G Thompson & Co. 
General Shipping Co. 
(Aitken, Lilburn & Co.) 
General Shipping Co. 
Devitt & Moore 

A. Nicol & Co. 

General Shipping Co. 

G. Thompson & Co. 




1 

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PQ 


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i 



414 THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 

APPENDIX D. 



Log of Ship ** Theophane,'' 1S6S— Maiden Passage, 



Oct. 



Nov. 





Lat. 


Long. 


Miles. 


Winds. 


19 


Left. Liverpool in tow. 






20 


Tug left ship 


off Tusk. 6 p.m. 






21 


49° 20' N. 


8° 30' W. 


215 


N.W. 


22 


45° 54' 


10° 46' 


224 


W.N.W. 


23 


42° 42' 


10° 53' 


199 


W.N.W. 


24 


39° 32' 


11° 11' 


202 


N. 


25 


37° 35' 


13° 11' 


160 


N.N.E. 


26 


35° 15' 


15° 31' 


182 


E.N.E. 


27 


33° 00' 


17° 12' 


162 


Variable. 


28 


30° 38' 


19° 50' 


200 


N.E. 


29 


26° 44' 


21° 20' 


243 


E. 


30 


23° 29' 


23° 55' 


254 


E.N.E. 


31 


20° 7' 


25° 52' 


230 


E.N.E. 


1 


16° 17' 


26° 30' 


234 


E.S.E. 


2 


13° 47' 


25° 45' 


158 


S.E. 


3 


11° 4' 


25° 6' 


172 


E. 


4 


9° 26' 


24° 20' 


110 


E. 


5 


8° 47' 


26° 10' 


40 


Variable 


6 


8° 10' 


25° 29' 


44 


Variable 


7 


7° 6' 


24° 19' 


91 


S.S.E. 


8 


5° 50' 


24° 6' 


79 


S.S.E. 


9 


4° 55' 


23° 43' 


63 


S. 


10 


4° 13' 


23° 19' 


60 


S. 


11 


2° 37' 


24° 50' 


133 


Variable 


12 


00° 19' 


26° 30' 


180 


S.S.E. 


13 


2° 60' S. 


28° 50' 


203 


S.S.E. 


14 


6° 29' 


30° 39' 


235 


S.E. 


15 


9° 15' 


31° 49' 


242 


S.E. 


16 


12° 51' 


31° 48' 


220 


S.E. 


17 


16° 27' 


31° 58' 


269 


E.S.E. 


18 


18° 15' 


31° 34' 


113 


E.S.E. 


19 


19° 44' 


31° 38' 


108 


E.S.E. 


20 


21° 50' 


29° 2' 


150 


S.E. 


21 


24° 2' 


27° 4' 


176 


N.E. 


22 


26° 24' 


24° 34' 


185 


N.E. 


23 


28° 24' 


22° 42' 


174 


N.E. 


24 


30" 6' 


21° 2S' 


125 


N.W. 



APPENDIX 415 

Log of Ship " Theophane," 1868— Cont 



Dec 





Lat. 


Long. 


)V. 25 


32= 10' 


19° 50' 


26 


34° 24' 


15° 48' 


27 


37"' 6' 


12° 11' 


28 


39° 14' 


8° 5' 


29 


39° 88' 


2° 6' 


30 


42° 00' 


2° 18' E. 


c 1 


43° 36' 


8° 26' 


2 


44° 22' 


15° 20' 


3 


44= 40' 


21° 6' 


4 


44° 4' 


27° 9' 


6 


44° 32' 


33° 24' 


6 


44° 53' 


40° 3' 


7 


44° 41' 


45° 00' 


8 


44° 30' 


61° 40' 


9 


45° 00' 


38° 00' 


10 


45° 9' 


65° 37' . 


11 


44° 57' 


7r 39' 


12 


44° 59' 


79' 10' 


13 


45"^ 28' 


86° 00' E. 


14 


45° 29' 


93° 40' 


15 


46° 19' 


100' 10' 


16 


46° 45' 


105° 53' 


17 


47° 25' 


110° 40' 


18 


47° 50' 


115° 40' 


19 


48° 60' 


122° 26' 


20 


47' 28' 


127* 11' 


21 


44° 53* 


134° ir 


22 


41° 45' 


138° ir 


23 


39° 57' 


140° 13' 


24 


Passed Cape Otway 


Liverpool to Melbourne 66 days 



iMiles. 


Wind3. 


160 


\V. 


240 


n!n.\v. 


246 


N.N.W. 


241 


N.N.W. 


306 


W. 


252 


w. 


254 


N. 


296 


N. 


286 


N.W. 


270 


N.W. 


276 


W.N.VV. 


280 


W. 


214 


W. 


218 


w. 


277 


N. 


294 


N. 


295 


N. 


320 


N.N.E. 


304 


N.N.E. 


328 


N. 


260 


N.N.E. 


250 


N.N.E. 


212 


E.N.E. 


230 


E.N.E. 


210 


E.N.E. 


208 


N.E. 


316 


N.N.E. 


276 


N.N.E. 


115 


N.E. by N. 


100 


N.E. 



416 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 
APPENDIX E. 



List of Clipper Ships still Afloat and Trading at 


the 


Outbreak of 


War, August, 


1914. 










Present 




Date 
Built 


Original Name 


Present Name 
if changed 


Nationality 
of Owners 


Yrs 
Old 


1864 


Glenlora 




Norwegian 


50 


1866 


Antiope 




Australian 


48 


1868 


Turakina 


Elida 


Norwegian 


46 


1868 


Decapolis 


Nostra Madre 


Italian 


46 


1868 


Ivanhoe 




Chilean 


46 


1869 


Cutty Sark . . 


Ferreira 


Portuguese 


45 


1869 


Thomas Stephens . . 


Pero d'Alemguer 


Portuguese 


45 


1869 


Otago 


Emilia 


Portuguese 


45 


1869 


Loch Awe . . 


Madura 


Norwegian 


45 


1869 


Hudson 




Norwegian 


45 


1870 


Lothair 




Peruvian 


44 


1870 


A viemore 




Norwegian 


44 


1872 


Collingwood 




Norwegian 


42 


1873 


Hesperus 


Grand Duchess 
Marie Nikolaevna 


Russian 


41 


1873 


Rakaia 




Barbadian • 


41 


1874 


Nelson 




Chilean 


40 


1874 


Waikato 


Coronada 


American 


40 


1874 


Canterbury . . 




Norwegian 


40 


1874 


Romanoff . . 




Norwegian 


40 


1874 


Charlotte Padhury . . 




Norwegian 


40 


1875 


Trafalgar . . 




Norwegian 


39 


1876 


Maulesden . . 


Ostend 


Italian 


39 


1876 


Hurunui 


Hermes 


Finnish 


39 


1876 


Myrtle Holme 


Glimt 


Norwegian 


39 


1876 


Castle Holme 


Ester 


Norwegian 


39 


1876 


Argonaut . . 


Argo 


Portuguese 


38 


1876 


Pleione 




Norwegian 


38 


1876 


Opawa 


Aquila 


Norwegian 


38 


1877 


Taranaki .. 




Italian 


37 


1877 


Pericles 




Norwegian 


37 


1877 


Wanganui . . 


Blenheim 


Norwegian 


37 


1877 


Loch Ryan . . 


John Murray 


Australian 


37 


1878 


Cimba 




Norwegian 


36 


1879 


Sophocles 




Italian 


35 


1881 


Loch Torridon 




Finnish 


33 


1882 


Port Jackson 




British 


32 


1884 


Derwent 




Norwegian 


30 


1886 


Torridon 




Italian 


29 


1885 


Loch Broom 


Songdal 


Norwegian 


27 


1885 


Loch Carron 


Seileren 


Norwegian 


27 


1885 


Strathdon . . 


Gers 


French 


27 


1890 


Hinemoa 




British 


24 


1891 


Mount Stewart 




British 


23 



APPENDIX 



417 



APPENDIX F. 



The Wool Fleet, 1874-1890. 



Four Best Wool Passages, IS74> -1890—- Port to Port. 



Ship 


Best Four 
Passages 


Total 
Number 
of Days 


Average 
Number 
of Days 


Total 

Number 

of Passages 


Cutty Sar/t 
Thermopylae 
Mermerus 
Salamis 


72, 73, 72, 76 
75, 79, 79, 79 
78, 80, 81, 84 
77, 83, 84, 85 


293 
312 
323 
329 


73i 

78 

80| 

82J 


7 

10 
15 
13 



Cutty Sark's passages are far superior to those of any other ship; 
in fact, if we take the average of all her wool passages between 1874 
and 1890, it only comes to 77 days from port to port. 



The Wool Fleet, 1873-4. 



Ship 


1 
From Left ! To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


Oct. 25 


London 


Jan. 


27 


94 


Miltiades . , 


Melbourne 


Nov. 12 




Feb. 


16 


96 


Mermerus 




.. 15 






16 


93 


Jerusalem 






., 18 






12 


86 


Sam Mendel 






Dec. 17 




Mar. 


12 


85 


Collingwood 






.. 24 






23 


89 


Loch Tav 






.. 30 






23 


83 


The Tweed 






Feb. 3 




Apl. 


27 


83 


Star of Peace 






„ 10 


„ 


May 


29 


108 


Ben Cruachan 






Mar. 5 




June 


13 


100 


Samuel Plimsoll 


Sydney 


April 14 




uly 


5 


82 


Loch Maree 


Melbourne 


June 14 




Sept. 


7 


85 


BenVoirlich 


" 


.. 14 


Lizard 




30 


108 



418 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 1874-5, 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Loch Tay 


Melbourne 


Oct. 23 


London 


Jan. 


31'75 


100 


Ethiopian 


Sydney 


„ 24 








23 


91 


Macduff .. 


Melbourne 


„ 30 






,, 


26 


88 


Collingwood 




Nov. 1 






Feb. 


4 


95 


Miltiades . . 




4 






Jan. 


20 


77 


Loch Ard .. 




.. 10 






Feb. 


U 


93 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


„ 14 






„ 


6 


84 


Oberon 


Melbourne 


.. 15 






Jan. 


31 


77 


Holmsdale 




.. 15 






Feb. 


6 


83 


City of Perth 




.. 15 






,, 


4 


81 


Sam Mendel 




., 18 






Mar. 


1 


103 


Ben Nevis 




.. 18 






Feb. 


3 


77 


Moravian 




.. 25 






Mar. 


4 


99 


John o' Gaunt 




,. 25 






,, 


27 


122 


City of Agra 




.. 30 






,, 


29 


119 


The Tweed 


Sydney 


Jan. 11'75 


Lizard 


April 


7 


86 


Ben Cruachan 


Melbourne 


.. 19 


London 


,, 


27 


98 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


Mar. 3 


,, 


June 


14 


103 


Romanoff 


Melbourne 


„ 11 


,, 


,, 


16 


96 


Ben Voirlich 




,. 16 


,, 


,, 


17 


93 


Loch Maree 




21 


Wight 


,^ 


17 


88 


Thomas Stephens 




April 30 


Lizard 


Aug. 


4 


96 


Loch Lomond 




May 1 


London 


,, 


2 


93 


Cairnbulg 


Sydney 


6 


" 


•• 


27 


113 



APPENDIX 



410 



The Wool Fleet, 1875-6. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Queen of Nations 


Sydney 


Oct. 16^ 


London 


Feb. 18 '76 


126 


Hawkesbury 


,, 


,. 25 


,, 


.. 15 


113 


Salamis . . 


Melbourne 


„ 23 


jj 


Jan. 25 


94 


Thessalus 




., 30 




,. 31 


93 


Oberon 


^^ 


Nov. 6 


Deal 


Feb. 17 


104 


Lincolnshire 


,, 


7 


London 


,. 17 


102 


City of Agra 


,, 


„ 10 


,, 


.. 17 


99 


La Hogue 


Sydney 


„ 11 


,, 


., 17 


98 


Ben Cruachan 


Melbourne 


.. 11 


Dover 


„ 16 


97 


Miltiades . . 


,, 


„ 14 


London 


.. 17 


95 


Ben Ledi . . 


„ 


„ 16 


Dungen's 


,. 16 


92 


LochArd.. 


^^ 


„ 17 


.. .. 16 


91 


Moravian 


^, 


» 20 


tt 


.. 18 


90 


A bergeldie 


Sydney 


.. 21 




., 20 


91 


Holmsdale 


Melbourne 


„ 21 


^^ 


., 19 


90 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


„ 26 


', 


M 18 


84 


The Tweed 


^^ 


Dec. 10 


It 


.. 17 


69 


Romanoff 


Melbourne 


., 10 




Mar. 14 


94 


Centurion 


Sydney 


., 21 


^^ 


April 11 


111 


Loch Maree 


Melbourne 


„ 29 


" 


Mar. 29 


90 


John Duthie 


Sydney 


Jan. 1'76 




April 12 


101 


Rodney 


Melbourne 


6 


Deal 


.. 13 


97 


ThomasinaMcLellan 




.. 10 


London 


M 20 


100 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


2 




5 


83 


Loch Vennachar . . 


Melbourne 


„ 13 


>> 


„ 11 


88 


Mermerus 




.. 17 




., 20 


93 


Parramatta 


Sydney 


Feb. 1 




., 21 


79 


Nineveh . . 


,, 


6 




May 26 


110 


Loch Ness 


Melbourne 


.. 22 




„ 24 


91 


Loch Garry 


^, 


.. 22 








Thomas Stephens 


Sydney 


Mar. 8 


[[ 


June 8 


92 


Cairnbulg 


,^ 


9 




7 


90 


Darling Downs . . 


- 


9 


" 


„ 24 


107 



420 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 1876-7. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


Melbourne 


Oct. 6 


London 


Jan. 


10 


97 


Macduff . . 


Geelong 


.. 25 








15 


82 


George Thompson 


,, 


.. 25 






Feb. 


6 


103 


Miltiades . . 


Melbourne 


„ 27 






Jan. 


24 


89 


City of Agra 


Geelong 


Nov. 3 






Feb. 


9 


98 


Loch Katrine 


Melbourne 


6 


> 




^^ 


8 


94 


Ben Lomond 


,, 


6 






,, 


9 


95 


Loch Vennachar . . 


,, 


8 






,, 


9 


93 


Centurion 


,, 


9 






„ 


7 


90 


Romanoff 


,, 


.. 11 


, 




,, 


6 


87 


Ben Cruachan . . 


Sydney 


.. 12 






,, 


8 


88 


Samuel Plimsoll 


^, 


.. 19 






^^ 


19 


92 


Loch Maree 


Melbourne 


.. 27 






Mar. 


6 


99 


Collingwood 


,, 


.. 27 






„ 


6 


99 


Aristides . . 


,, 


M 28 






Feb. 


17 


81 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


Dec 4 






Mar. 


6 


92 


Sam Mendel 


Melbourne 


.. 11 






,, 


26 


105 


Ben Voirlich 


,, 


„ 18 




, 


,, 


26 


98 


Loch Garry 


,, 


Jan. 25 


Deil 


May 


10 


105 


Darling Downs . . 


Sydney 


Feb. 1 


London 


,, 


22 


110 


Cairnbulg 




5 


,, 


,, 


10 


94 


Loch Lomond 


,, 


.. 17 


,, 


,, 


10 


82 


Parramatta 


" 


.. 17 


" 


" 


10 


82 



APPENDIX 



421 



The Wool Fleet, 1877-8. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Ben Cruachan 


Melbourne 


Oct. 24 


London 


Jan. 


22 '78 


90 


Romanoff 


,, 


„ 27 


„ 


Feb. 


12'78 


108 


John Duthie 


Sydney 


Nov. 1 


,, 


,, 


15 


107 


Ben Voirlich 


Melbourne 


6 




,, 


15 


101 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


8 




,, 


12 


96 


George Thompson 


Melbourne 


9 




,, 


12 


95 


Loch Maree 


j^ 


.. 11 




,, 


13 


94 


Macduff .. 


,, 


., 12 




,, 


15 


95 


Miltiades 


,, 


.. 16 




,, 


21 


97 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


,. 21 




,, 


28 


99 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


Melbourne 


„ 23 




Mar. 


1 


98 


Salamis . . . , 


^^ 


.. 24 




Feb. 


19 


87 


Mermerus 


,, 


„ 24 






12 


80 


Cairnbulg 


Sydney 


Dec. 3 




Mar. 


2 


89 


City of Agra 


Melbourne 


4 




,, 


7 


93 


Old Kensington . . 


,, 


7 




,, 


7 


90 


Aristides . . 


Adelaide 


„ 14 


t> 


,, 


21 


97 


Loch Garry 


Melbourne 


„ 20 


»» 


April 


4 


105 


True Briton 


^j 


,. 21 




jj 


4 


104 


Thyatira . . 


„ 


Jan. 12 




,j 


16 


94 


La Hogue 


Sydney 


„ 16 


" 


,, 


16 


90 


Thomas Stephens 


Melbourne 


.. 17 


1 " 


18 


91 



422 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 18T8-9. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


Dys 
Out 


Loch Katrine 


Melbourne 


Sept. 23 


London 


Jan. 


15'79 


114 


Ascalon . . 


Sydney 


Oct. 14 




, 




16 


94 


Romanoff 


Melbourne 


„ 26 






,, 


27 


93 


Nineveh . . 


Sydney 


.. 29 






Feb. 


7 


101 


Ann Duthie 




Nov. 2 






^, 


3 


93 


Slieve More 


Melbourne 


4 






>i 


8 


96 


Ben Cruachan 


Geelong 


5 








8 


95 


Loch Maree 


Melbourne 


8 






Jan. 


30 


83 


Miltiades .. 


^^ 


„ 11 






Feb. 


8 


89 


Mermerus 


^^ 


.. 13 






,, 


6 


84 


Merope 


,, 


.. 16 






,, 


20 


96 


Cimba 


Sydney 


„ 16 






,, 


17 


93 


Jerusalem 


Geelong 


.. 16 






,, 


8 


84 


Ben Voirlich 


Melbourne 


.. 17 






Mar. 


6 


109 


Melbourne 




.. 18 


Pra'wleP 


Feb 


16 


90 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


., 19 


London 


,, 


7 


80 


Aristides . . 


Melbourne 


„ 23 






,, 


18 


87 


Cynisca . . 


Sydney 


.. 26 






Mar. 


14 


108 


Macduff .. 


Geelong 


Dec. 1 






,, 


4 


93 


Loch Lomond 


Melbourne 


3 






,, 


6 


93 


Hawkesbury 


Sydney 


5 


, 




,. 


6 


91 


Old Kensington . . 


Melbourne 


7 






,, 


7 


90 


Thomas Stephens 


Sydney 


7 






.. 


6 


89 


Loch Garry 


Geelong 


.. 13 






,, 


13 


90 


Thyatira . . 


Melbourne 


M 14 






,, 


6 


82 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


„ 16 


Lizard 


,, 


15 


89 


Cairnbulg 


,, 


.. 20 


,, 


April 


8 


109 


Superb 


Melbourne 


,. 21 


Dover 


,, 


1 


101 


La Hogue 


Sydney 


Jan. 18'79 


Lizard 


,, 


18 


90 


Parramatta 




Feb. 6 


Plym'th 


,, 


26 


80 


Windsor Castle 


^^ 


Mar. 11 


PrawleP 


June 


13 


94 


(D. Rose & Co.) 















APPENDIX 



428 



The Wool Fleet, 1879-80. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To Arrived 

1 


D'ys 
Out 


Sam Mendel 


Melbourne 


Nov. 3 


London 


Feb. 


6 


95 


Cimba 


Sydney 


6 


Channel 


Mar. 


4 


119 


Ben Cruachan 


Geelong 


9 


London 


Feb. 


6 


89 


Romanoff 


Geelong 


., 16 






Mar. 


10 


114 


Thermopylae 


Sydney 


.. 18 






Feb. 


7 


81 


Salamis 


Melbourne 


.. 19 






Mar. 


8 


109 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


.. 22 




1 


,, 


9 


107 


Macduff .. 


Melbourne 


„ 23 




, 


,, 


9 


106 


Thyatira . . 


,, 


.. 26 




, 


,, 


8 


102 


Old Kensington . . 


,, 


„ 29 




, 


,, 


9 


100 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


,, 


.. 29 




, 


,. 


9 


100 


Mermerus 


,, 


Dec. 4 








4 


90 


Cynisca . , 


Sydney 


5 






April 


6 


122 


Dunbar Castle 


^, 


„ 11 






,, 


3 


113 


Superb 


Melbourne 


,. 13 






,, 


3 


111 


Nineveh . , 


Sydney 


.. 18 




, 


^, 


2 


105 


Darling Downs . . 


.- 


.. 30 




i .. 


2 


94 


Ben Voirlich 




Jan. 1 




. 


17 


106 


Aristides . . 


Melbourne 


1 




i " 


3 


92 


Loch Tay 


,, 


3 




! ]' 


19 


106 


Loch Vennachar 


Geelong 


„ 16 




i 


19 


93 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


,. 17 






,, 


19 


92 


Loch Garry 


Melbourne 


„ 22 






•• 


19 


87 



424 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 1880-1. 



Ship 



1 From 

1 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Sydney 


Sept. 3 


London 


Dec. 


1 


88 




„ 30 


<> 




27 


88 


^, 


Oct. 1 




^^ 


28 


88 


i " 


.. 12 


,, 


Feb. 


2 


113 


! 


., 11 


Jan. 


12 


90 


Melbourne 


.. 20 


Motherb'nk; Feb. 


3 


106 


j Sydney 


.. 23 


London 


„ 


2 


102 


! Melbourne 


„ 26 


^^ 




13 


110 


i .. 


„ 27 


,, 


Jan. 


31 


96 




.. 28 


^^ 


Feb. 


3 


98 


,, 


„ 29 


^^ 


Jan. 


31 


94 




,. 29 


,^ 


Feb. 


2 


96 


Sydney 


,. 29 


,, 


„ 


3 


97 


Melbourne Nov. 5 




^^ 


7 


94 


i „ .,5 




^^ 


4 


91 


Geelong 


9 


,, 


„ 


6 


88 


Melbourne 


» 10 




Mar. 


8 


118 


.. 


.. 11 


.. 


Feb. 


5 


86 


Sydney 


.. 13 


., 


Jan. 


31 


79 


Melbourne 


.. 17 




Feb. 


4 


79 


Geelong 


., 20 


,^ 


Mar. 


5 


105 


Melbourne .. 29 | 


,, 


Feb. 


24 


87 


Sydney 


Dec. 6 


,, 


April 


13 


129 


Melbourne 


5 


»> 


Mar. 


20 


105 


,, 


Jan. 14 




April 


28 


104 


Sydney 


„ 24 


,, 


,, 


30 


96 


Feb. 2 


,^ 


May 


1 


88 


Melbourne' „ 25 


Falm'th 


June 


8 


103 




April 7 


London 




30 


84 



Woollahra 
Hawkesbury 
The Tweed 
Samuel Plimsoll 
Thermopylae 
Miltiades . . 
Cimba 

Sir Walter Raleigh 
Loch Vennachar 
Loch Maree 
Melbourne 
Romanoff 
Patriarch . . 
Ben, Voirlich 
Mermerus 
Salamis . . 
Sam Mendel 
Windsor Castle 

(Green's) 
Windsor Castle 

(D. Rose) 
Aristides . . 
Thyatira . . 
Loch Garry 
Darling Downs 
Colltngwood 
Thessalus 
Parramatta 
Brilliant . . 
Loch Tay 
Argonaut . . 



APPENDIX 



425 



The Wool Fleet, 1^51-2, 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Windsor Castle . . 


Sydney 


Oct. 15 


London 


Jan. 


30 


107 


(D. Rose) 














Salamis . . 


Geelong 


.. 29 


,, 


Feb. 


7 


101 


Romanoff 


Melbourne 


Nov. 7 


,, 


,, 


18 


103 


Holmsdale 


^^ 


.. 10 


^^ 


^^ 


17 


99 


Loch Garry 


,' 


„ 11 


Wight 


,, 


16 


97 


Ben Cruachan 


,^ 


.. 12 


London 


,, 


18 


98 


Sir Walter Raleigh 




„ 12 




Mar. 


6 


114 


Parthenope 


,^ 


.. 13 


,, 


Feb. 


15 


94 


Theophane 


Geelong 


.. 14 


Dover 


,, 


16 


94 


Miltiades . . 


Melbourne 


., 14 


Downs 


^^ 


16 


94 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


.. 15 


London 


Mar. 


6 


HI 


City of Agra 


Melbourne 


.. 17 


,, 


Feb. 


20 


95 


Mermerus 




.. 17 


Lizard 




14 


89 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


.. 17 


Downs 




16 


91 


Ben Voirlich 


Geelong 


.. 18 


London 


Mar. 


22 


124 


Loch Rannoch 


,^ 


„ 29 


^, 


^^ 


29 


120 


Thyatira . . 


Melbourne 


Dec. 3 


,, 


,, 


18 


105 


Loch Vennachar . . 




9 




" 


3 


84 


Thessalus 


Sydney 


.. 19 


]] 




28 


99 


Aristides . . 


Melbourne 


Feb. 6'82 


" 


May 


11 


94 



426 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 1882-3. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


Dys 
Out 


Windsor Castle 


Sydney 


Oct. 13 


Falm'th 


Jan. 20 


99 


(D. Rose & Co.) 












Thermopylae 


,, 


.. 14 


London 


Dec. 28 


75 


Salamis . . 


Melbourne 


t. 17 




Jan. 19 


94 


Loch Garry 


,, 


Nov. 3 






Feb. 14 


103 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


Sydney 


4 






4 


92 


Orontes 


(• 


6 




' 




15 


101 


Loch Vennachar . . 


Melbourne 


8 








. 15 


99 


Macduff .. 


,. 


8 








. 11 


95 


Ben Voirlich 


^, 


» 








9 


92 


Holmsdale 




9 




. 




. 16 


98 


Ben Cruachan 




.. 13 








. 12 


91 


Hallowe'en 


Sydney 


14 




' 




. 13 


91 


Miltiades . . 


Melbourne 


.. 14 




' 




. 14 


92 


Romanoff 


„ 


.. 16 




, 




14 


90 


Loch Sloy 




.. 23 








. 23 


92 


Mermerus 


]] 


.. 25 








14 


81 


John Duthie 


Sydney 


.. 29 






Mar. 25 


116 


Collingwood 


Melbourne 


6 






Mar. 26 


110 


Melbourne 




.. 14 






., 27 


103 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


26 






April 10 


105 


Woollahra 


jj 


Jan. 6 






7 


91 


Cimba 




7 


Channel 


.. 22 


105 


Smyrna . . 




7 


London 


.. 30 


113 


A nglo-Norman . . 




.. 10 




.. 23 


103 


ChristianaThompson 


,, 


.. 19 






May 12 


113 


Darling Downs . . 


,, 


.. 23 






April 30 


97 


Loch Etive 


,, 


.. 24 




. 


May 16 


112 


La Hogue 


Sydney 


Jan. 25 






April 30 


95 


Dharwar . . 


^^ 


Feb. 8 






June 4 


116 


Hawkesbury 


.. - 


8 






May 12 


93 


Trafalgar 


• 


8 






.. 12 


93 


Gladstone . . 


^^ 


.. 26 






.. 13 


76 


Rodney 


Melbourne 


Mar. 4 


Prawie 


June 11 


99 


Parramatta 


Sydney 


6 


London 


July 7 


123 


A bergeldie 


,. 


April 16 


,, 


Aug. 1 


108 


Brilliant . . 




.. 19 


^^ 


4 


107 


William Duthte . . 




.. 20 




.. 15 


117 


Port Jackson 


•• 


.. 28 




July 30 


93 



APPENDIX 



427 



The Wool Fleet, 1883-4. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


John Duthie 


Sydney 


Oct. 12 


London 


Jan. 


10 


90 


Salamti . . 


Melbourne 


.. 19 






27 


100 


Str Waltet Raleigh 


Sydney 


.. 20 




,, 


19 


91 


Woollahra 


,, 


.. 26 




Feb. 


6 


103 


Thermopylae 


„ 


.. 31 




Jan. 


26 


87 


Loch Vennachat . . 


Melbourne 


Nov. 3 




Feb. 


25 


114 


Ben Cruachan 




3 




Jan 


27 


85 


Helmsdale 


,, 


3 




Feb. 


10 


99 


Loch Garry 


Geelong 


3 


.. 


., 


2 


91 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


3 




,, 


2 


91 


Windsor Castle 


^^ 


3 






6 


94 


(D. Rose) 














A nglo-Norman . . 


^, 


4 






1 


89 


Samuel Pltmsoll . . 


,, 


6 




Jan. 


28 


84 


Ethiopian 


Geelong 


7 


.. 


Feb. 


12 


97 


Ben Voirlich 


,, 


11 




^^ 


10 


91 


South Australian 


Melbourne 


.. 14 




" 


20 


98 


Romanoff 


• • 


.. 17 


.» 




12 


87 


Mermerus 




.. 21 


>« 




24 


93 


Loch Tay 


,, 


.. 24 




Mar. 


3 


99 


Thyatira . . 


,, 


,. 28 




,, 


10 


102 


Hawkesbury 


Sydney 


Dec. 7 




,, 


10 


93 


Loch Long 


Melbourne 


8 






14 


96 


Melbourne 


,, 


.. 12 






18 


96 


Cutty Sark 


Newcastle 


.. 28 




^, 


20 


82 


Dharwar . . 


Sydney 


.. 29 




April 


21 


113 


Cimba 




.. 29 






22 


114 


ChristianaThompson 


,, 


.. 29 




'[ 


21 


113 


Miltiades . . 


Geelong 


Jan. 4 




,, 


22 


108 


Smyrna . . 


Sydney 


.. 14 




^^ 


30 


108 


Rodney 


Melbourne 


.. 19 




^, 


28 


99 


Jerusalem 


Sydney 


Feb. 6 


May 


3 


87 



428 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 1884-5. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Loch Long 


Melbourne 


Oct. 


5 


London 


Jan. 


9 


96 


Thermopylae 


^^ 


^^ 


6 




Dec. 


24 


79 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


,, 


12 


Channel 


Jan. 


10 


90 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


„ 


„ 


14 


London 




27 


105 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


,, 


„ 


15 


Plym'th 


,, 


22 


99 


Salamis . . 


Melbourne 


^^ 


19 


London 




11 


84 


Thyatira 


,, 


,, 


31 


It 


Feb. 


14 


106 


The Tweed 


Sydney 


Nov. 


4 




^^ 


14 


102 


Hawkesbury 


,, 


f> 


26 




,, 


28 


94 


Ben Cruachan 


Melbourne 




28 






27 


91 


Gladstone . . 


Newcastle 


Dec. 


2 




Mar. 


20 


108 


Mermerus 


Melbourne 




6 




Feb. 


27 


84 


Loch Garry 


Geelong 


]', 


5 




Mar. 


30 


115 


Orontes 


Sydney 


,, 


6 




,, 


31 


116 


ChristianaThompson 


,, 


,, 


6 




,, 


27 


111 


Woollahra 


,, 


•» 


7 






27 


110 


Cutty Sark 


Newcastle 


»» 


9 




Feb. 


27 


80 


Cimba 


Sydney 




12 




Mar. 


27 


105 


Dharwar , . 


,^ 


^, 


12 




^^ 


27 


105 


Harbinger 


Melbourne 


,, 


24 




April 


2 


99 


Loch Vennachar . . 


»• 




27 




Mar. 


29 


92 


Miltiades . . 






28 




^, 


30 


92 


Trafalgar 


Sydney 


jin. 


19 




April 


29 


100 


Cairnbulg 


,, 




20 




,, 


23 


93 


Rodney . . 


Melbourne 


Feb. 


2 




,, 


26 


83 


Port Jackson 


Sydney 


,, 


12 




May 


17 


94 


Centurion 


" 


Mar. 


21 




June 


20 


91 



APPENDIX 



429 



The Wool Fleet, 1885-6. 



Ship 


From 


Left . 


To Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Patriarch . . 


Newcastle 


Oct 


6 


London Jan. 


7 


94 


Sir Walter Ralexgh 


Sydney 


,, 


12 


! ,. 


6 


85 


Loch Vennachar . . 


Melbourne 


,, 


14 


,, 


,, 


7 


85 


Cutty Sark 


Sydney 


,, 


16 


,, 


Dec. 


27 


72 


Salamts . . 


Melbourne 


^^ 


17 


^^ 


Jan. 


2 


77 


Woollahra 


Sydney 


,, 


17 


,, 


,, 


7 


82 


Thermopylae 


,, 


,, 


18 


,, 


,, 


5 


79 


Samuel PlimsoU . . 


,, 


,, 


24 


,, 


,, 


23 


91 


Cimba 






24 






28 


97 


Harbinger 


Melbourne 


Nov. 


7 


^, 


Feb. 


5 


90 


Ben Cruachan 


^^ 




13 


^^ 


,^ 


2 


81 


Mermerus . . 


,, 


,, 


30 


Lizard 


Mar. 


19 


109 


Illawarra . . 


Sydney 


Dec. 


7 


London 


.. 


21 


104 


The Tweed 


., 


,, 


7 




,, 


25 


108 


Thomas Stephens 


,. 


,, 


11 


,, 


,, 


21 


100 


Ben Voirlich 


Melbourne 




22 


^^ 




21 


89 


Rodney 


,, 


'.' 


22 


'1 


w 


19 


87 


Loch Ness 




Jan 


4 




May 


3 


119 


Loch Ryan 


,, 


,, 


8 


,, 


,, 


8 


120 


Mount Stewart . . 


,, 


,, 


10 




,^ 


3 


113 


Darhng Downs . . 


,, 


. ., 


16 


" 


„ 


11 


115 


Dharwar . . 




'' 


19 






11 


112 


Trafalgar 


Sydney 




23 


., 


',' 


10 


107 


Loch Sloy 


Melbourne 




30 


» 




27 


117 


Brilliant .. 


Sydney 


Feb. 


3 


^, 


,^ 


7 


93 


Port Jackson 


,, 


,, 


8 


,, 


^, 


27 


108 


Miltiades . . 


Melbourne 


Mar. 


22 


•• 


June 


24 


94 



430 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool Fleet, 1886-7. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arri 


ved 


D'ys 
Out 


Loch Vennachay . , 


Melbourne 


Oct. 


21 


London 


Jan 


20 


91 


Salamis . . 


,. 


,^ 


24 






17 


85 


Patriarch . . 


Sydney 


.-. 


24 




.,. 


21 


89 


Thermopylas 


>> 


»» 


24 




»!■ 


19 


87 


Blackadder 


Newcastle 




27 




Feb. 


23 


119 


Derwent » . 


Sydney 


Nov. 


6 




, 


22 


108 


Cimba 


>» 




27 




^^ 


24 


90 


Woollahra 




,, 


30 




»» 


26 


88 


Afisiides , - 


Melbourne 


Dec 


7 




Mar, 


10 


93 


Mermerus , . 




^^ 


10 




Feb 


26 


78 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


»» 


,, 


11 




Mar. 


1 


80 


Harbinger 




, 


13 




„ 


25 


102 


Samuel Pltmsoll . 


Sydney 


,, 


14 




. , 


25 


101 


Rodney 


Melbourne 


,^ 


17 




April 


17 


121 


Loch Garry 


Geelong 


,, 


18 




,, 


13 


116 


City of Agra 


Melbourne 


Jan 


1 




,- 


23 


112 


South Australian 


,, 




1 






23 


112 


Cairnbulg 


Sydney 


,, 


8 




r.r 


22 


104 


Illawarra . . 


,, 


». 


13 




0$ 


22 


97 


Port Jackson 


,, 


,, 


15 




»» 


24 


99 


Orontes .. 


^^ 




16 




»» 


23 


97 


Smyrna 


/ 


,[ 


18 




,, 


24 


96 


Trafalgar 


.; 


Feb. 


16 




May 


21 


95 


Dharwar . 






16 




,, 


21 


96 


Cutty Sark 


" 


Mar. 


26 




June 


6 


72 



APPENDIX 



431 



The Wool Fleet, 1887-8 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


A.rnved 


D'ys 
Out 


Sir Walter Raleigh 


Sydney 


Sept 14 


London 


Jan. 


2 


1 10 


Thermopylae 


,, 


Oct. 16 


ti 




3 


79 


Patriarch .. , 


.. 


.. 16 


^j 


^^ 


20 


96 


Loch Vennachar , r 


Melbourne 


,. 17 


,, 


,, 


6 


80 


Woollahra 


Sydney 


M 23 


,, 


,, 


23 


92 


Cimba 




.. 24 






22 


90 


Samuel Plimsoll . . 


,^ 


.. 25 


,, 




27 


94 


Salamis . . 


Melbourne 


.. 26 


^^ 




17 


83 


Romanoff 


,, 


Nov. 2 


,, 


Mar 


n 


130 


Smyrna ,, 


Sydney 


., 12 


„ 




13 


122 


Derwent . . , . 


It 


M 17 




Feb 


20 


95 


Thyatira , , 


Newcastle 


„ 21 


Dungen's 


Mar, 


8 


108 


Dharwar . . 


Melbourne 


.. 23 


London 


^j 


6 


103 


Loch Ryan 


Geelong 


.. 23 


,, 


^, 


12 


110 


Harbinger 


Melbourne 


.. 28 








10 


103 


Mermerus . c 


^^ 


., 29 








9 


101 


Orontes 


Sydney 


Dec. 1 








13 


103 


Illawarra . . 




6 








8 


94 


Aristides ., 


Melbourne 


5 






" 


6 


91 


Yallaroi .. 


Sydney 


.. 10 








10 


91 


Trafalgar 


,, 


., 12 






,, 


11 


90 


Collingwood , . 


Melbourne 


.. 12 






^^ 


11 


90 


City of Agra 


,, 


., 17 






,, 


10 


83 


Loch Garry 


„ 


„ 21 






,, 


15 


85 


Cutty Sark 


Newcastle 


„ 28 


Dungen's 




8 


71 


Gladstone . , 


Sydney 


Jan. 7 


London 


April 


5 


89 


Miltiades . . 


Melbourne 


.. 11 


" 


^^ 


11 


91 


Brilliant .. 


Sydney 


„ 26 




][ 


18 


83 


Thomas Stephens 


" 


Feb. 4 


'' 


May 


17 


103 



432 



THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS 



The Wool FleeL 1888-9. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ysl 

Out 1 

1 


Derwent . . 


Sydney 


Oct. 10 


London 


Jan. 


17 


99 


Cimba 


^^ 


.. 18 






15 


89 


Orontes 


>• 


„ 20 


,^ 




22 


94 


Star of Italy 




,. 20 


,, 




14 


86 


Woollahra 


^^ 


.. 24 


^^ 




18 


86 


Salamis . . 


Melbourne 


„ 24 






17 


86 


Cutty Sark 


Sydney 


.. 26 


Start 




18 


84 


Loch Vennachar . . 


Melbourne 


., 27 


London 




19 


84 


Gladstone , . 


Sydney 


„ 30 




Feb. 


15 


108 


Centurion 


^^ 


.. 31 




n 


21 


113 


Mermerus 


Melbourne 


Nov. 3 




Jan 


31 


89 


Blackadder 


Newcastle 


.. 17 




Feb. 


15 


90 


Loch Ryan 


Geelong 


M 23 




Mar. 


9 


106 


Harbinger 


Melbourne 


,. 26 




jj 


8 


102 


Nebo 


Sydney 


.. 28 




Feb. 


16 


82 


Thomas Stephens 


^^ 


.. 29 




Mar. 


20 


111 


Dharwar . . 


Melbourne 


Dec. 1 




^^ 


7 


96 


Trafalgar 


Sydney 


6 




Mir. 


18 


102 


Yallaroi . . 


,, 


.. 10 




,, 


20 


100 


Collingwood 


Melbourne 


„ 16 




,, 


20 


95 


Loch Garry 


,, 


„ 21 




,, 


20 


89 


Sophocles 


Sydney 


.. 22 




April 


15 


114 


Samuel Plimsoll 


Melbourne 


„ 23 




,, 


2 


100 


Rodney 


Sydney 


„ 24 




Mar. 


27 


93 


Romanoff 


Geelong 


„ 31 




April 


23 


113 


Torridon . = 


Sydney 


Jan. 12 




,, 


29 


107 


Thermopylae 


" 


Mar. 26 




June 


20 


95 



APPENDIX 



433 



The Wool Fleet, 1889-90. 



Ship 


From 


Left 


To 


Arrived 


D'ys 
Out 


Derwent . . 


Sydney 


Oct. 14 


London 


Jan. 2 


80 


Cairnbulg 


,, 


„ 16 


,, 


.. 24 


101 


Orontes 


,, 


,. 17 






„ 24 


99 


Loch Vennachar . . 


Melbourne 


,. 21 






,. 16 


86 


Salamis . , 


,, 


„ 22 






,. 16 


85 


Cimba 


Sydney 


„ 22 






6 


75 


Woollahva 


^, 


,. 22 






.. 16 


85 


Rodney .. 


^^ 


,, 31 


Lizard 


,. 16 


77 


Cutty Sark 


,, 


Nov. 3 


Start 


„ 16 


74 


Loch Ryan 


Melbourne 


3 


London 


Mar. 11 


128 


Mermerus 




Dec. 7 


^^ 


„ 10 


93 


Thomas Stephens 


,, 


.. 10 






.. 28 


108 


Loch Tay 


Geelong 


„ 12 






„ 15 


96 


Samuel Plimsoll . , 


Melbourne 


M 14 






„ 26 


102 


Yallaroi .. 


Sydney 


.. 20 






April 8 


109 


Trafalgar 


„ 


„ 21 






8 


108 


Harbinger 


Melbourne 


„ 22 






., 10 


109 


Collingwood 




., 23 






Mar. 28 


96 


Loch Rannoch 


,, 


,. 23 






April 10 


108 


Illawarra . . 


Sydney 


„ 23 






6 


103 


Romanoff 


Melbourne 


Jan. 1 






6 


96 


Thermopylae 


Sydney 


9 


Deal 


8 


89 


Loch Long 


Geelong 


.. 18 


London 


,. 27 


99 


Loch Sloy 


Melbourne 


» 18 


,, 


., 28 


100 


Brilliant .. 


Sydney 


„ 25 


, 




„ 22 


87 


Torridon . . 


^^ 


„ 26 


1 




.. 26 


91 


Patriarch . . 


,, 


.. 27 






., 26 


89 


Hesperus .. 


Melbourne 


„ 31 


, 




May 14 


103 


P^Hrt Jackson 


Sydney 


Feb. 8 


' 




8 


89 



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